Skip to main content

Full text of "William Allingham, a diary"

See other formats


vr / 














(jL'-ilit'atn . 'illtiicflitini 

William Allinerham 

A Diary 




I 908 



First Edition 1907 
Reprinted 1908 



During the last ten years of his life at our quiet home 
in Surrey my Husband began, in the intervals of his 
literary work, to writeliTs Autobiography. 

I find in one of his note-books this memorandum : 
' There are two tenable theories of Life, and conse- 
quently of Autobiography : 

One : accept a set of conventional rules and abide 
by them. 

Two — - admit your limitations, attend to what 
interests you and try always to be sincere.' 

Readers of this book will decide for themselves 
which of these lines my Husband followed— both in 
his life and in describing it. 

Unfortunately, he wrote in detailed narrative only 
of the period dealing with his childhood, and some later 
portions — such as the accounts of his intercourse with 
Carlyle and Tennyson : nothing was left ready for 

I owe much to the late Mrs. Birkbeck Hill for her 
competent selection and arrangement of a great part 
of the matter for this book at the outset : and my 
thanks are due to Mrs. Ernest Radford for her valuable 



help in the literary work of the editorship, and to 
Miss Toulmin Smith for the Index. 

The different portions of the Autobiography are 
placed in chronological order, with the extracts from 
the diaries and note-books — the final selection of these 
from the large mass of material has been the subject of 
my anxious consideration for many years. 

The responsibility of the publication rests with me 





I. ] 

[824-1846 1 







IV. ] 




continued) 1850- 



V. ] 



VI. ] 






VIII. ] 


















XIV. ] 








• 253 








XVIII. 1880 2^5 

XIX. 1881-1883 308 

XX. 1884 322 

XXI. 1885-1886 . . . . . 342 

XXII. 1887 351 

xxiii. 1888-1889 371 

List of Works 39° 

Index ..•••••* 393 


William Allingham, from an early photograph 



Cover intended for Day and Night Songs, from a Design in 
Colour by D. G. Rossetti ...... 

William Allingham, from a Photograph taken in 1857 

Carlyle, in his Drawing-Room at Cheyne Row, from a Water- 
Colour Drawing by H. Allingham (1878-9) 

William Allingham, from a Water-Colour Drawing by H 
Allingham (about 1880) ..... 

William Allingham, from a Water-Colour Drawing by H 
Allingham (about 1884) . . 

Facsimile Letter from William Allingham to Mr. Barnes 

Tennyson in his Study at Farringford, from a Water-Colour 
Drawing by H. Allingham (1890) . . . . 








1 824-1 846 

The little old Town where I was born has a Voice of 
its own, low, solemn, persistent, humming through the 
air day and night, summer and winter. Whenever I 
think of that Town I seem to hear the Voice. The 
River which makes it, rolls over rocky ledges into the 
tide ; before, spreads a great Ocean in sunshine or 
storm ; behind, stretches a many-islanded Lake. On the 
south runs a wavy line of blue Mountains ; and on the 
north, over green or rocky hills, rise peaks of a more 
distant range. The trees hide in glens, or cluster near 
the river ; gray rocks and boulders lie scattered about 
the windy pastures. The sky arches wide over all, 
giving room to multitudes of stars by night, and long 
processions of clouds blown from the sea ; but also, in 
the childish memory where these pictures live, to deeps 
of celestial blue in the endless days of summer. 

An odd, out-of-the-way little Town, ours, on the 
extreme western verge of Europe ; our next neighbours, 
sunset way, being citizens of the great New Republic, 
which indeed, to our imagination, seemed little if at all 
further off than England in the opposite direction. 

I was born in a little House, the most westerly of a 
row of three, in a street running down to the Harbour. 
Opposite was a garden wall, with rose-bushes hanging 
over. If I can remember anything of this first house, 
which perhaps I cannot, it is the top of the kitchen stairs 


2 BALLYSHANNON 1824-1846 

at the end of the passage, and the dark unknown abyss 
below. My first appearance in this odd sort of world 
was in the blustery month of March, two days after the 
festival of Ireland's patron saint. 

From the House that I was born in we moved to one 
somewhat larger, two doors eastward, when I was one 
year and four months old, and lived there a little more 
than two years. Of this second House I certainly retain 
many impressions. A picture of the Sitting Room, with 
its darkish carpet of geometric pattern, and its ruddy 
fire, its window, door, table, chairs, and sofa, in certain 
relative positions, is dimly revivable. The two or three 
steps at the front door, and the longer flight leading 
down into the kitchen, are indented, as it were, on my 
memory. Steps and stairs are very remarkable objects 
to most children, I should think, in their earlier stages 
in the art of walking. A sense of toil and danger is 
connected with them, — and of awe ; they are something 
like what Alpine precipices are to grown-up people. 

And when this state of mind is gradually overcome, 
it blends with the triumphant feeling of power in 
mounting and descending these difficult heights, and 
penetrating at will new regions in the remotest recesses 
of the House. 

An early expedition of mine down the kitchen stairs 
led me into a piece of ill-luck, the consequences of which, 
trivial as it seemed at the time, have woven themselves 
into the whole texture of my life, have sensibly lessened 
its whole share of pleasure and added to it daily and 
almost hourly vexations. I had crept down the back- 
stairs to the kitchen, and was pattering across the stone 
floor, unnoticed by a woman busily engaged in ' getting 
up ' some of the household linen. She snatched a ' flat- 
iron ' which had been standing in front of the fire, and, 
turning quickly round to carry it to the smoothing 
table, encountered Little Me unlucky ! — nor was she 
able to check herself soon enough to keep the hot iron 
from touching my left eye. General agitation followed, 

1824-1846 BALLYSHANNON 3 

no doubt. I had to spend some days in a darkened 
room, and compared myself (Aunt Bess told me after- 
wards) to old Isaac, whose eyes were dim, so that he 
could not see. 

The effect of this accident on my sight was not dis- 
covered for years afterwards ; its effects on my comfort 
and character no one knows or even suspects but 

While in this house, I received a small box of water- 
colour paints (I have it still) from my god-mother, 
Mrs. Jane Dixon. I was seated one day at the parlour 
table in my little arm-chair, screwed on to the top of 
its table to bring it to a proper height, and with paint- 
box, brushes, and cup of water, was dabbing and daub- 
ing away on various pieces of paper, to the envy of a 
playfellow, who was at the same table, but had only 
some bright coloured picture books for his share — a 
tame amusement compared to painting one's own 
pictures. My mother or nurse hinted that I might 
share the use of the paint-box with my companion, but 
the sense of property was too strong, and I refused. 
When it appeared that the loan would be disagreeable 
to me, no more was said : but then I began to turn the 
matter over in my mind, and secretly bethought me — 
' We shall all have to die in a few years ; it is not worth 
while saving up these paints so carefully ' — and I inti- 
mated my willingness to lend them. There was no sort 
of moral notion in it ; and as to how I first got the 
impression of death, I have no clue. It was very likely 
by means of ' the dead-bell,' which tolled for funerals, 
and whose every slow stroke, in the Church tower on 
the hill, used to sound through the sleepy little Town, 
and in later years of youth, to smite upon my heart. 

It may easily have been among the first things to 
awaken a child's curious questionings. The notion of 
Death at this earlier time was not associated, as far as I 
can recall, with the slightest dread or awe, or feeling of 
any kind except that (which is perhaps one of the last 

4 BALLYSHANNON 1824-1846 

we should suspect in a child of three years old) of the 
transitory character of all human possessions. 

Later, at the age perhaps of six or seven, I was for a 
time fully possessed with the conviction that I should never 
die — that I, for one, must in some way or other escape 
death. No reasoning led up to this idea, and no effort, 
voluntary or involuntary, was made to define the mode 
of exemption or the consequences. There was simply a 
perception of a fact which had become apparent — as of 
a mountain on the horizon on an exceptionally clear 
day, new, dim, but undeniable, — the fact that / should 
not die ; nor did I take much notice of it, — there it 
was ; and when the mental atmosphere gradually 
changed, it was invisible again. 

In my fourth year (autumn of 1827) our family 
changed house again ; father, mother, myself, and a 
sister a year and a half younger. The move was only 
across the street, but the new abode, known as The 
Cottage, had a character of its own. It was an irregu- 
larly built house of two stories, with the general 
shape of the letter L, standing among gardens and 
shrubberies. The front and the south gable were half- 
covered with clematis, which embowered the parlour 
windows in summer ; and some wall-trained evergreen 
fringed the one window of the Nursery with dark 
sharply-cut leaves, in company with a yellow blossoming 
Pyrus japonica. Opposite the hall door, a good-sized 
Walnut Tree growing out of a small grassy knoll 
leaned its wrinkled stem towards the house, and 
brushed some of the second-story panes with its 
broad fragrant leaves. To sit at that little upper-floor 
window (it belonged to a lobby) when it was open to 
a summer twilight, and the great Tree rustled gently 
and sent one leafy spray so far that it even touched my 
face, was an enchantment beyond all telling. Killarney, 
Switzerland, Venice could not, in later life, come near it. 

On three sides the Cottage looked on flowers and 
branches, which I count as one of the fortunate chances 


of my childhood, — the sense of natural beauty thus 
receiving its due share of nourishment, and of a kind 
suitable to those early years. Grandeur of scenery is 
lost on a young child ; I doubt if any landscape 
impresses him, however impressionable. Little things, 
close at hand, make his pleasures and troubles. I was 
enchanted with our flower-beds and little shrubberies ; 
and in a grass-field to which we were sometimes brought, 
a quarter of a mile away, there was a particular charm 
in two or three gray rocks encrusted with patches of 
moss ; but of the distant view of the Atlantic Ocean I 
took no notice at this time. 

My Father was fond of flowers and we had a good 
show of all the old-fashioned kinds in their seasons. I 
loved the violet and lily of the valley, and above all 
the rose — all roses, and we had many sorts, damask, 
cabbage, ' Scotch,' moss, and white roses in multitude 
on a great shady bush that overhung the little street at 
our garden-foot. The profusion of these warm-scented 
white roses gave a great feeling of summer wealth and 
joy, but my constant favourite was the ' Monthly Rose,' 
in colour and fragrance the acme of sweetness and 
dehcacy combined, and keeping up, even in winter 
time, its faithful affectionate companionship. 

Before the front door grew my dear Walnut Tree 
out of its little mound, beyond which the narrow drive 
curved in something of a figure of S to the stable and 
byre, its little shrubbery on either side shady enough 
with lilacs and laburnums to yield forest haunts to the 
childish fancy. Two or three fig-trees there were 
also, whose fruit swelled but never ripened ; and their 
crooked boughs were chiefly interesting as perches, 
from which strange altitudes one could look down on 
the household trafiic, horse and foot. Near the north 
shrubbery's edge grew tufts of daffodil, and at one 
place it was overhung by a tall gable thickly clad with 
ancient ivy. This gable did not appertain to us ; its 
one little window high up, nearly buried in dark leaves, 

6 BALLYSHANNON 18241846 

belonged to an Inscrutable and most mysterious interior. 
The Great Pyramid could not give me, in later life, so 
profound a sense of antiquity and awfulness as this old 
hay-barn gave to the little boy. 

Our own more familiar outhouses were highly 
interesting, each in its own way ; the stable for my 
father's one or two horses, where perpetual twilight 
reigned and characteristic odours, with its forks and 
curry-combs, slope-lidded corn-bin, and trap-door to 
the hay-loft above ; next the stable, the harness-room, 
and over this an apple-loft, of most memorable fragrancy ; 
a little higher up the yard, the byre with its two or 
three deliberate -stepping, sweet -breathed cows, and 
another loft ; and close by in a corner the little stable, 
wood with thatched roof, of Sheltie, the brown-bear-like 
pony with long mane and tail, which I rode, and whose 
eccentricities gave birth to most exciting personal 
adventures. He was fond of standing nearly bolt 
upright on his hind legs, when I was fain to hug his 
thick mane. He often had views of his own as to 
the best road to take, and, suddenly refusing to move 
forward, would turn round and round like a wheel, 
then abruptly gallop off in the direction of his stable. 
One eventful day when I was riding Sheltie about our 
home limits one of the gates happened to be open, and 
we passed out unobserved into the street where the 
pony immediately quickened his pace and, taking the 
law into his own hands, carried me out of the town and 
along country roads into a wild unknown region. If 
I had any alarm or misgiving the joy of novelty over- 
came it, yet there was a sense of relief when my self- 
willed steed stopped before the field gate of a farm of my 
father's about two miles out, which I then recognised, 
having visited it in his gig once or twice before. The 
pony had been there at grass and recollected his good 
times. The cottagers ran out with many exclamations 
of wonder at sight of us, and one of them, holding 
Sheltie's bridle, brought me home again, full of a 

1824-1846 BALLYSHANNON 7 

delightful sense of adventure and the importance of 
having been missed. 

^ My Father had this small farm on lease, and also a 
large field near the town, called ' The Big Meadow,' in 
which grazing was let to some neighbours' milch cows 
along with our own ; but he was not a farmer, and 
his agricultural produce went mainly to supply his 
own family and my grandmother's, the surplus being 

His business was that of a merchant — a wide 
designation, and in his case applicable enough ; he 
imported timber, slates, coal and iron, and owned at 
various times five or six ships, trading chiefly to Canada 
and the Baltic for timber. There were no exports, 
save now and again of human beings to Quebec. The 
emigration was small then to what it became in after 
years, but enough to make ' going to Ameriky ' one of 
the most familiar phrases in daily life. My father went 
out every morning to his office, which was on the other 
side of the street from our house, and seldom returned 
till dinner time, half-past four. This and other house- 
hold facts I became aware of by their recurrence, but 
took little or no note of them. Every child rates 
things for himself. Curiosity, mixed with imagination 
and the love of beauty, was naturally strong in me ; but 
even at this early age, unless I am mistaken, it sought 
its food in the interests and characteristics belonging to 
nature and life in general ; or rather say that, while 
rapidly and vividly receptive of all kinds of novel 
impressions, I strove unfailingly and quite unconsciously 
to group them according to some principle, refer them 
to some ideal — though it must be owned that, in the 
first decade of one's earthly career, principles and ideals 
are usually of an unsubstantial fantastic sort. 

The persons moving around me were as person<e 
merely, and in and for themselves individually interested 

1 The Allinghams had migrated from England and settled at Bally- 
shannon, Co. Donegal, in the time of Elizabeth. 

8 BALLYSHANNON 1824-1846 

me little or nothing. I intend all through this record 
to avoid ' philosophising,' and give recollections and 
impressions as simply as may be. What it indicated (if 
anything special) I know not to this hour, but in these 
first years I do not remember to have felt any emotion 
of affection either for my parents or for anybody else. 
Caresses (if that is to be taken into account) I never 
had any share of from my parents ; they were both 
undemonstrative in that way by nature, and my mother's 
constant invalidism and my father's hasty temper 
kept us children at a distance from both. Yet, cold- 
ness was never reckoned one of my faults, and later, say 
from twelve years old, my attachments to persons were 
warm and constant. 

I dimly recollect my mother as thin, pale, delicate, 
gentle in voice and movement, with soft dark hair and 
an oval face slightly sun-freckled. She was kind, sweet, 
and friendly, and a great favourite with all who knew 
her ; but her ill-health and early death left us, alas ! 
to learn these her merits by hearsay and to love her 
shadowy memory when the mild presence had vanished 
for ever. 

She was married in 1823, and bore the following 
children : — 

William . 

. born March 19, 1824. 


„ March 25, 1826. 


„ December 12, 1827. 


„ August 25, 1829. 

Edward . 

. „ August 22, 1 83 1 

(who only lived a few months), 

and a still-born son on May 27, 1833, at which time 
she was already far gone in 'a decline,' due rather to 
exhaustion than disease. 

She died on Tuesday evening, July 2, 1833. She 
was perhaps not made for longevity, but with more 
wisdom in its atmosphere her dear and sweet life might 
have been preserved for many years. 

1824-1846 BALLYSHANNON 9 

I only recollect her as an invalid, and we children 
were not allowed to be much with her. But now and 
again she sung a little to the pianoforte, and two songs 
of that time have still for me a charm not their own — 
' The Bonnie Breastknots,' and ' It wasn't for you that 
I heard the bells ringing.' 

From my nurses and others I picked up a large 
number of tunes, for I had a decided ' ear for music,' 
and Ireland is, or used to be, a country with its air full 
of singing, whistling, and lilting. Fiddlers abounded, 
pipers were not scarce ; the fame of harpers lingered, 
but I never heard the Irish Harp till I went South. 

My father (on the passage, in these years, between 
thirty and forty) was a short, active, black-haired man, 
with very light gray eyes, quick, impatient, curious as 
to the externals of objects, and easily amused, but dis- 
regardful of whatever did not immediately interest him. 
He had a turn for arithmetic, and was exact in the 
money part of all dealings ; punctual also as to set 
hours, and letter-writing. 

In continuation of unbroken family custom, he was 
an unswerving adherent of the Established Church ; 
but in politics he had left the Radicalism of his early 
life for a kind of Toryism, which consisted mainly in 
reading a newspaper on that side, and giving a vote 
accordingly at the county election. 

Honesty, prudence, industry, regularity, conformity, 
— few men will break down with these ; and my father 
had these, under fashions peculiar to himself. He had, 
moreover, though thrifty, a kind of open-handedness, 
or dislike and impatience of stint ; and, above all and 
best of all, an inherent aversion from every sort of 
double-dealing and deception, and a total incapacity to 
practise them. This sincerity, which was often naive 
and sometimes impolite — he had in common with his 
brothers and sisters ; his mother was of the same 
nature, and it has descended to her grandchildren. I 
feel it is no merit in myself, but an inheritance, a some- 

lo BALLYSHANNON 1824-1846 

thing like the shape of my limbs, that I have always 
an uneasy longing to undeceive people in every case, 
trivial or important, whether connected with myself 
or others, where the slightest misconception seems to 
exist. This tendency (strangely associated with extreme 
shyness in admitting any personal intimacy) often runs 
into absurdity, and I am sure I have often left people 
puzzled by explaining to them more than enough, and 
setting them perhaps a'search for supposed motives. 
The tendency is native, and will work. This turn of 
mind also urges me to point out without delay all the 
faults I see in any person or thing, even when my 
admiration is very great, and although I am aware of 
the certainty of breeding misconceptions thereby. 

Both mind and body were exceedingly active, and I 
was irresistibly drawn to pry into and examine all kinds 
of objects and places, climb up ladders, walls, gates, trees, 
sometimes no doubt committing breakage or causing 
alarm. But there was not the least tinge of malice in 
my nature, or capability of being pleased by the 
destruction of anything or the annoyance of anybody, 
and a wise and sympathetic senior could without special 
effort have done wonders for my education and happi- 
ness. I used often to wonder how it could have 
happened that I was so much wickeder than everybody 
else. I should have suffered much more hurt and 
harm by it but for certain compensations. My great 
curiosity and interest in outward things, and delight in 
their beauty and novelty, along with much activity of 
imagination, or rather fantasy, tended to save me ; and 
at my Grandmother's house — but a little way off, and 
to which I went as often as I could — I found something 
of that atmosphere of affection and confidence which is 
so suitable to the free growth of any tender young 

My Grandmother (my father's mother, Jane Hamil- 
ton her maiden name) managed to live by a very few 
simple rules (without even knowing these, as rules). 


1824-1846 BALLYSHANNON 1 1 

and managed to do it as well or better than most people. 
She cared about her own household, first and last ; 
maintained regular hours and a good larder ; was kind 
to her servants, but kept them in their place ; petted 
her grandchildren, and took a great deal of snufF, She 
had a family Bible, with the births of her numerous sons 
and daughters — eighteen in all, I think, but many of 
these died in childhood — recorded in old-fashioned 
writing on the fly-leaves, and a thick old cookery-book 
bound in black leather ; and these I believe were all 
her books. But she used to sit in the winter evenings, 
with her cat on her knee, knitting stockings and 
listening with apparent pleasure to Aunt Maryanne 
reading the Waverley Novels, and would sometimes 
make a remark on an extraordinary incident or character 
— generally on some piece of villainy, and to this effect, 
' They ought to have hanged him ! ' From this it may 
be guessed that the modern scruples about capital 
punishment had never intruded on her mind ; and 
indeed, as far as I can recollect, she was in doubt about 
nothing : if it was an old thing it had its label attached, 
if a novelty she kept it at arm's length. Even the 
rotation of our planet upon its axis (though not exactly 
a new opinion) she never believed in. The bare notion 
of such a turning and twirling would have been enough 
to make her head light. 

I now know that my Grandmother's was a small 
house, but if I were to describe it from the impressions 
of those years it would be spacious and many-roomed, 
with a long, dim, lofty Entrance Hall, wide enough to 
be the scene of many fancied adventures. The stairs 
at its end mounted to a landing with flower-stands and 
a window, and thence to a Drawing-room with what I 
thought a large window to the street, a little room off 
this, and two bedrooms looking to the back. Another 
flight climbed to an upper lobby and the garrets. At 
the end of the hall, between the foot of the staircase and 
the kitchen door, was a door, generally locked, whence 

12 BALLYSHANNON 1824-1846 

a few descending stairs led to a curious back-room 
with hen-coops, a smell of live animals, an ancient wooden 
partition, and a window dim with old crusted dirt ; 
and from this a dark flight of stone steps descended to 
a truly mysterious and almost awful region, a dim back- 
kitchen paved with rude flags, with a well of living 
water of unknown depth in a recess of the wall. 

Into the Hall (where an old fashioned lamp of 
elongated shape, which I never saw lighted, hung from 
the ceiling) opened the door of the Parlour, next the 
street, and my Grandmother's bedroom to the back of 
the house, both on the left hand as you came in ; and 
on the right, close to the head of the back-stairs, the 
Kitchen door. Another door on the right, belonging 
to a Store-room usually entered from the Kitchen, I 
never saw opened but twice or thrice, each opening an 
event and a revelation ; a press stood against it on the 
inner side, and a green hall-chair on the outer. Near 
the hall-door lay an oval mat, and at the stair-foot 
another, made of ' bent,' a coarse grass that grows on 
the sandhills by the sea ; these mats being finger-woven 
and carried round for sale by barefooted women and 
girls, one or more of whom called nearly every day to 
ask, ' D'ye want any mats ? ' 

The Kitchen was floored with square red tiles. Its 
one tall window, with thick window sashes, beside 
which was the washing-tub on its stand, looked out on 
a little back-yard. Opposite the door stood a long 
' dresser ' with its rows of plates 'and dishes, tin 
porringers and strainers ; and under this, in the corner 
next the window, was the place of a large tub of fresh 
water which, with its clear olive depth and round 
wooden dipper swimming like a boat on its tremulous 
surface, used to give me great delight, judging (as I do 
in this and similar cases) by my distinct impressions of 
the forms and colours. 

From my own experience I judge that a child's 
little camera obscura, however sensitive to the picturesque, 

1824-1846 BALLYSHANNON 13 

cannot include it on a large scale. There were moun- 
tains in daily sight, where I lived, and a large cataract 
in the river close by ; I must also have seen the ocean 
sometimes, which was but three miles distant, yet it 
was none of these that impressed me with a sense of 
beauty and mystery, but the water-tub and the well, 
flowers and leaves, and, very particularly, a heap of 
gray rocks, touched with moss and in one part laced 
with briars, in a certain green field to which the nurse 
used often to bring us. 

No doubt I was a troublesome youngster, super- 
abundantly active, and there were two things which 
probably helped to make me unacceptable. I was a 
peculiar-looking, and, no doubt in the opinion of many, 
an ugly little chap, with an odd cast in his gray eyes ; 
secondly, I was never done asking questions, and hardly 
ever satisfied with the answers I received. I could 
read fluently at a very early age, and I remember 
nothing of being taught. But I do remember, before I 
could read, learning a sentence in the Bible Story Book by 
heart, and then making a pretence of reading it — out 
of vain-glory. The little woodcuts in that book — a 
duodecimo in two volumes — impressed me more than 
any pictures I have seen since. A wide lonely land- 
scape of hills and water, with the sun looking down 
upon them, heading the chapter called ' The Last Day,' 
remains, in its effect on my mind, the grandest of all 
works of art. It was a woodcut about an inch long, 
and no doubt entirely commonplace in itself. I wonder 
whether something intrinsically great would have 
impressed me more. Probably not. 

With my sisters I was always on good terms, but I 
cannot remember that they ever seemed to count much 
then in my life. Places had more reality than persons. 
My mind was busy with imaginations which gave 
mysterious importance to every nook of house and 
garden ; and when I began to catch glimpses of things 
in a wider range, and to overhear hints of a more 

14 BALLYSHANNON 1824-1846 

wonderful world outside of this, magic pictures formed 
themselves within me of such heavenly beauty as no 
experience has matched. These had a consistency of 
their own, and recurred till they left impressions that 
resembled real memories, and have, 1 doubt not, made 
and do still make a large part of the scenery of my 
Dreams. Beautiful Dreams (I mean in sleep) have 
been no trivial part of the pleasures of my life. Certain 
Dreams show up again and again, like the opening of a 
familiar page. Sometimes there is an interval of years 
between two appearances of the same Dream. There 
are several Dreams, each distinct, of Lakes, of Rivers, 
of Mountains, of Woodlands, of Cities, of Great Build- 
ings, of Strange Countries ; a Dream of a Cave, and a 
Dream of a Gothic Ruin, a Dream of Flying, a Dream 
of Death, and many more. Dreamland has its own 
geography, of places wherein all strange adventures and 
experiences are possible. 

My brother John and I had not much in common ; 
but one Sunday evening, I remember (this must have 
been in our second lustrum, perhaps well on in it), we 
were on the stairs of the Church gallery — a big boy 
quarrelled with me and suddenly made as though he 
would throw me over the railing. I was rescued 
quickly, but during the momentary struggle I saw 
John's face, who was some steps higher up, looking 
down with an expression of alarm and horror which 1 
never afterwards forgot, and which gave me a new 
feeling towards him from that day. He never knew 
this ; of such slight incidents and lasting effects life 
is full. 

The said Church (of the United English and Irish 
Establishment) was an important object in my childish 
life. To me it was a spacious and awe-inspiring Edifice, 
with windows of peculiar shape, and a square Tower 
which was the measure of height, — ' as high as the 
church steeple.' The broad path curved up to it from 
a tall old iron gate, through grassy hillocks and ancient 

1824-1846 BALLYSHANNON 15 

tombstones, some of them quaintly carved. The 
Church stood on the highest ground, and commanded a 
wide prospect, from its tower-top a panoramic one. 
Eastward you saw the river rushing down its rocky dell, 
and behind this some of the hill tops that guard the 
unseen great Lake out of which it flows. To the south, 
at a distance of some ten miles, a long range of blue 
Mountains takes wonderful colours from the changing 
skies, and in their foldings run up shadowy valleys into 
a mystical inner region. Between this range and the 
little gray Town with its long stone bridge, at your feet, 
spreads the Moy [math = ph'in) — scene of many an 
ancient fight and foray, an expanse, sloping to the 
north, of rugged pasture, broken here and there with a 
rocky copse or farm-shading grove, and many low green 
rath-crowned hills. So one's gaze travelling round to 
the west, and over the sand-hills and foamy harbour- 
bar, gladly rests on the great line of the Atlantic Ocean, 
the nearest land out yonder being two thousand miles 
away. For north horn of the Bay rises the great 
rocky precipice called Slieve League, and round to 
the north and along the northen horizon peer up other 
blue mountain-peaks above a middle distance of gorsy 
slopes and wind-swept sheep-runs, sprinkled with gray 
rocks and boulders, and hinting to a familiar eye the 
green circle of a Rath on many a low hill. Mullina- 
shee (Fairy Hill) this eminence is called on which 
the Church stands ; and not only from it but many 
another height extensive prospects are visible, with 
a wide sky overhead, and a pomp and change of cloud- 
pictures such as I have never seen elsewhere. 

Even the streets of the Town afford many a glimpse 
of green fields, blue mountains, or flowing waters. 

The Town and its horizon-circle belonged to each 
other (in my imagination at least) and gave me a sense 
of large space and infinite variety, very diff'erent no 
doubt from the image of Ballyshannon in the mind 
of some passing traveller who sees the poor dull little 

1 6 BALLYSHANNON 1824-1846 

place, perhaps on one of those by no means unfrequent 
wet days, and wonders how any human being can 
wilHngly live there. But neither was I alone in my 
feeling. The people of Ballyshannon had, and I hope 
have, their full share of that warm attachment to 
famihar localities which is notable in the Irish. 

' When a stranger Stan's on the Bridge and luks up 
an' down, mustn't he be delighted ! ' said a native to me ; 
and I never heard of any one going to live elsewhere 
who failed to ' think long for the ould place,' and, for 
a time at least, cherish the hope of returning. 

Travelling at the time I am speaking of was a rare 
adventure to poor and even to middle-class people. 
The journey to Dublin was long and costly, and 
England a strange country which few even dreamt of 
seeing, except two or three shopkeepers who went once 
a year to Manchester and Leeds to buy goods, and the 
* harvest-men,' who brought back home their wages, 
against the winter, and who like their neighbours 
invariably thought and spoke of ' the Enghsh 'as of a 
foreign people, though never, that I heard, uncivilly, un- 
less when some disputation arose. ' Ameriky,' far off as 
it was, was a more familiar name and idea ; nearly all 
the letters received and dispatched by the poorer people 
were from or to that land of promise. The passage- 
money was but a few pounds, very often sent over by 
those already in the West, and the emigrants could in 
many cases embark in their own familiar harbour. I 
never heard any one express the least fear of the dangers 
and hardships of the long voyage in an often tightly- 
packed and ill-found sailing-ship ; but great was the 
grief at leaving home and ' the ould counthry,' and 
vehemently, though not affectedly, demonstrative were 
the frequent parting scenes. 

It has always been supposed that some countries 
have, so to speak, a peculiar magnetic attraction for the 
souls of their children, and I found plenty of reason. In 
the conduct of my neighbours as well as my own con- 


1824-1846 BALLYSHANNON 17 

sciousness, to count Ireland as one of these well-beloved 
mother-lands. This home-love is strongest in the 
dwellers in her wild and barren places, rock-strewn 
mountain glens and windy sea-shores, notwithstanding 
the chronic poverty in which so many of them live. In 
these remote and wild parts Erin is the most character- 
istically herself, and the most unlike to Saxon England. 
Her strange antiquities, visible in gray mouldering 
fragments ; her ancient language, still spoken by some, 
and everywhere present in place-names, as well as phrases 
and turns of speech ; her native genius for music ; her 
character — reckless, variable, pertinacious, enthusiastic ; 
her manners — reconciling delicate respect with easy 
familiarity ; her mental movements — quick, humorous, 
imaginative, impassioned ; her habits of thought as to 
property, social intercourse, happiness ; her religious 
awe and reverence ; all these, surviving to the present 
day, under whatever difficulties, have come down from 
times long before any England existed, and cling to 
their refuge on the extreme verge of the Old World, 
among lonely green hills, purple mountains, and rocky 
bays, bemurmured day and night by the Western Ocean. 

I never came back to the Ballyshannon country after 
an absence, without thinking that it looked to be the 
oldest place I ever saw. 

This impression was aided by the character of its 
superabundant surface rocks — gray gneiss, gray mica- 
schist masked with yellow lichens, dark gray limestone, 
weather-stained, or knobbly with mysterious fossils ; 
and the fields too are commonly intersected with rude 
fences of loose gray stones picked from the soil. But 
hints and tastes of a richer scenery were not wanting, 
and all the more prized for their rareness. Productive 
gardens and orchards there were about the Town, plenty 
of flowers and fruit, few trees of any size (mostly 
sycamores and ashes), but here and there a little grove 
shaded the lawn and avenue of a modest country house, 
and a mile or two up the rapid River thick copses 


1 8 BALLYSHANNON 1824-1846 

mingled with large trees embowered the water-side. 
A small well-wooded park in that region, called Camlin, 
seemed to me the very type of rich sylvan beauty, and 
my imagination no doubt soon caught rumours and 
formed pictures better than could ever be realised of 
the great Lake beyond, with its forested promontories 
and ' an island for every day in the year,' In the 
opposite quarter, that is on the west, our landscape 
reached the extreme of bareness, rough rocky pastures, 
miles of rabbit-warren and sea-strand, sward of Atlantic 
headlands shaven by the salt gale as by a scythe, with 
here and there a hawthorn bush or still rarer hedge, 
stretching wildly away to the eastward as though fain 
to flee altogether, almost the only arboreal things to be 
found far or near. The wild shore and boundless tossing 
sea, ebb and flow of the tide, ships, fishermen, wrecks, 
new lands beyond the sunset, these helped no little to 
feed and stimulate the childish imagination. 

But of all the external things among which I found 
myself, nothing impressed me so peculiarly as the Sound, 
the Voice, which ceased not day or night ; the hum of 
the Waterfall, rolling continually over its rock ledge 
into the deep salt pool beneath. In some moods it 
sounded like ever-flowing Time itself made audible. 

The pool below the cataract was one of the chief 
scenes of the salmon-flshing, so important to the town, 
and summer idlers had an untiring pleasure in lounging 
on the high green bank to watch the boats swiftly casting 
out and slowly hauling in their nets. Angling on the 
upper waters brought us every year, from April or May 
till August, a succession of visitors, often English, and 
we were further and more permanently enlivened by 
the presence of troops, Ballyshannon being an important 
military post, the gate between Connaught and Ulster. 
At the beginning of the century it had Infantry, Cavalry, 
and Artillery Barracks, fully occupied, I think, up to 
181 5. The Cavalry Barrack had been allowed to fall 
into ruin, and its black grass-grown walls had a strange 

1824-1846 BALLYSHANNON 19 

and fascinating horror for the boyish mind ; but the 
Infantry Barrack was always more or less occupied, and 
the marching of the red-coats (especially to and from 
church), the playing of the bands, and the various bugle- 
calls at their regular times of the day, made a great 
impression. The Officers too were an interesting and 
frequently varying element in society. Officers arriv- 
ing were sometimes billeted on private houses, and I 
remember the presence of mysterious military guests in 
our house more than once, on these terms. These, no 
doubt, were occasions of emergency, when it was suddenly 
found expedient to strengthen the garrison on rumour 
of an intended ' rising,' or in consequence of some 
unusual display of lawlessness. I came early to the 
consciousness that I was living in a discontented and 
disloyal country ; it seemed the natural state of things 
that the humbler class — which was almost synonymous 
with Roman Catholic, should hate those above them in 
the world, and lie in wait for a chance of despoiling 
them. Yet I never for a moment believed this of any 
of the individuals of this class amongst whom I lived. 
I used to fancy and sometimes dream frightfully of a 
swarm of fierce men seizing the town, bursting into the 
houses, etc. ; of soldiers drawn out in rank with levelled 
guns, of firing, bloodshed, and all horror. 

Once there was something like an approach to 
realisation. It must have been at a time when our 
garrison was temporarily withdrawn or reduced to a 
detachment, that a rude army of ' Whiteboys ' actually 
marched through the town, armed with scythes, pikes, 
and I know not what. I was turned six years old then. 
I remember being at the corner of our lane, holding 
somebody's hand or lifted in somebody's arms, and 
have a most dim yet authentic memory-picture of a 
dark wild procession of men, crowded closely together, 
holding and brandishing things over their heads. It 
streamed past us up the long hill of the Main Street, 
and I daresay I was taken home before it had passed 

20 BALLYSHANNON 1824-1846 

by, for in the dim picture it is always seen passing on 
and up interminably, a dark throng with pikes and 
scythes held aloft. I looked with curiosity unmixed 
with dread ; but it was probably after this that the 
dread showed itself in dramatic forms in my dreams. 
I have been told that my Aunt Bess on this day was 
walking through the Purt (a long straggling street on 
the south side of the river) when she met the mad 
looking multitude with their pikes, etc. Some one said, 
' That is Miss Allingham going to visit the poor,' and 
they opened a way for her to pass through. 

No outrage at all, I believe, was done by the 
'Whiteboys,' or whatever they were ; and in fact I 
have never, since I was born, known or heard of any 
political or secret society offence in our Town or its 
district. Ballyshannon was a sort of island of peace in 
my day, as it had been for generations, and I hope is 
carrying on the good tradition. We were far from 
centres of excitement and agitation ; Dublin remote, 
the nearest considerable towns some twenty-five and 
thirty miles distant, and the scene of our county elections 
to Parliament (very seldom contested) still further 
away. We were a Borough (with two members) in 
old College Green days, but had luckily lost that 
privilege, which is a real curse to a small town. News- 
papers were unknown to the humbler, and rare with 
the middle classes. All the country gentry and nearly 
all the well-to-do people were Protestants, having 
the ascendency naturally belonging to money and 
education, and their connection with a State-privileged 
Church was, I imagine, less noticeable ; that is, there 
was little if any political feeling on this head, though 
plenty of theological aversion and contempt on both 
sides ; and in any sort of public dispute or collision, 
Catholics and Protestants (Orangemen, mostly of the 
small farmer class, were those who were apt to show 
up on such occasions) ranged themselves as by instinct, 
or chemical affinity, on opposite sides. 

1824-1846 BALLYSHANNON 21 

Along with other helps to a comparatively tranquil 
existence, Ballyshannon had a most peace-loving and 
peace-making Parish Priest in Father John Cummins, 
whose big figure wrapt in voluminous coats, big stick, 
good-humoured big face crowned with reddish bob- 
wig and wide-brimmed hat, was one of the permanent 
institutions of our social existence throughout my 
boyhood and youth-hood, whatever curates might come 
and go. My father had no difficulty in exchanging 
many a neighbourly greeting and chat with Father 
Cummins, whose burly person standing on such occasions 
with legs apart, whose good-humoured brogue and 
hearty laugh that shook him all over, — 'Upon me 
conshince, Misther Alligham ! ' — I well remember. He 
told one day with a big laugh how grateful another 
Protestant neighbour was on getting back some stolen 
goods by virtue of the Confessional, saying earnestly — 
' I protest, Mr. Cummins, this restitution of property 
is a gr-rand fayture in your religion ! ' and my Father 
too was sometimes advantaged by the same means. 
Father Cummins was nothing of a theologian, but he 
was duly proud of his great ancient Church, and used 
sometimes to ask an opponent with dignity the well- 
known question — ' Where was your Church before 
Luther.? Tell me that, sir!' He lived in a neat 
thatched cottage at the top of the town, with an elderly 
housekeeper, and a boy who drove him to distant parts 
of the parish in an old-fashioned jaunting-car, the 
pony, fat and sleek as a mole, being seldom allowed 
to go at faster pace than a quick walk. The good 
priest's great dread was of taking cold. He believed 
in fast-shut doors and windows, huge fires, heaps of 
bedclothes, and nobody but his housekeeper ever knew 
how manv coats, waistcoats, and other integuments 
he was accustomed to wear. In diet I believe he was 
moderate, and he lived to old age without ever making 
an enemy. His successor, a tallish, dark, lean, shy 
man, was no less peaceable in life and teaching. 

22 BALLYSHANNON 1824-1846 

' The Rector,' as he was always called, but properly 
the Vicar of Kilbarron, at the time when I appeared 
upon the scene in a very small part, was the Reverend 
Robert Packenham, brother to the wealthy lay rector, 
who took the name of Conolly for his aunt's property 
and was the chief landowner in our parts and long 
M.P. for the county. 

I was probably about four years old when they 
began to take me to church on Sundays. The edifice 
appeared to me spacious, lofty, and venerable. It was 
cruciform, with round-topped windows, the ground floor 
filled with high pews. There were three galleries, — 
' the Singing Gallery ' over the west door ; ' the Soldiers' 
Gallery ' in the north transept ; ' the Country Gallery ' 
in the south transept, used mostly by small farmers and 
their families. The townsfolk and the country gentry 
had pews in the body of the church ; some very poor 
people sat on benches in the aisle, and, at the other end of 
the scale, two families had notably large and comfortable 
pews, the Conollys in the right-hand corner as you came 
in by the west door, the Tredennicks ^ of Camlin in the 
left. The Tredennick pew was a place of mystic and 
luxurious seclusion to my fancy, a sort of imperium in 
imperio. Its woodwork completely partitioned it off from 
the aisle, but chance peeps showed a snugly cushioned and 
carpeted interior, and even a special little fireplace with 
its special little bright fire on winter Sundays. In later 
days I knew a high lady who deemed it proper to go 
regularly to church once a week, but evaded part of 
the tedium by taking with her a novel or other amusing 
book, decently veiled in a dark cover. With such a 
pew as this she could have made herself very comfort- 
able ; but if anything of the kind occurred there (which 
probably never did) I had no suspicions of it. 

Essentially, neither service nor sermon had the very 
slightest interest or meaning for me, but the sense of a 
solemn stringency of rule and order was deeply im- 

1 The Tredennicks, originally of a Cornish family. 

1824-1846 BALLYSHANNON 23 

pressed, and the smallest infraction, it was felt, might 
have unimaginable consequences. A child's prayer- 
book falling from the gallery astounded like an earth- 
quake ; and once, I remember, when the congregation 
suddenly started up in the midst of the service, pew 
doors were thrown open, and people ran out into the 
aisles (a lady had fainted) — it was really as if the Day 
of Judgment had come. Connected with Church and 
churchyard was a thought, vague, vast, unutterably 
awful, of that Last Day, with Eternity behind it : yet 
it was definitely localised too, and it seemed that not 
only the Rising but the Judging of our particular dead 
must be in our own Churchyard. 

A terrible thought of Eternity sometimes came, 
weighing upon me like a nightmare, — on and on and 
on, always beginning and never ending, never ending 
at all, for ever and ever and ever, — till the mind, 
fatigued, fell into a doze as it were and forgot. I 
suppose this was connected, though not definitely, with 
the idea of a state of punishment. The suggestion of 
eternal happiness took no hold upon my imagination ; 
my earliest thought of Heaven pictured it as a Sunday 
street in summer, with door-steps swept and the shutters 
of the shops closed. Later, there was a vague flavour 
of Church and psalmody. 

Our Pew, painted like the rest a yellowish colour 
supposed to imitate oak, was half-way up the Church, 
on the right-hand side of the central aisle, and had the 
distinction of a tall flat Monument of wood (or it 
seemed tall), painted black in George the Second taste, 
rising on the wall behind it. Atop was a black urn 
with faded gold festoons ; at each side a pilaster with 
faded gold flutings ; and there was a long inscription 
in faded gold letters. 

It seems to me very curious that, after sitting so 
many an hour, so many a year, in that Pew, and 
recollecting numberless little things around me there, 
I cannot find in my memory one word of that 

24 BALLYSHANNON 1824-1846 

inscription, except 'Sacred' in a line by itself at the 
top, in Old English letters — not even the chief name, 
which was a lady's, (a remote and very slightly 
interesting relation or connection of ours, she must 
have been) nor the import of those Roman symbols 
which so ingeniously disguise a date to modern eyes. 
The wording no doubt was highly conventional, as 
nearly as possible meaningless, and felt by the child to 
be a sort of dull puzzle which after some attempts it 
was better to avoid. Had it been verse^ of even 
moderate quality, it would have fixed itself in my 
memory ; with point, it would have stuck there for 

My usual place in the pew (habitude, or customari- 
ness, or whatever it may be called, being naturally 
strong in me) was the left-hand corner next the door, 
as you went in. Standing on the seat, I could look up 
and down the aisle, and sometimes rest my arms and 
head on a little triangular shelf that fitted into the 
corner. When I had, against the grain, to sit down, 
I kept looking at the faces of the people near to me 
in the Pew, and the countenance of a certain half-pay 
Army Lieutenant, ruddy, swarthy, with a longish nose 
somewhat bulbous at the end, holds a very dispropor- 
tionate place in my memory, because he generally sat 
in full view. The tedium of the service was also 
mitigated by the interest which I acquired in watching 
for the regular recurrence of its various stages, with 
the attitudes — of sitting, standing, or kneeling — 
appropriate to each. Certain phrases were greeted as 
milestones upon the journey ; and at the end of the 
sermon (usually the most trying part of all, and of 
indefinite length) the words, ' Now to God the Father,' 
etc., caused an unfailing gush of inner satisfaction. 
There was something curious and amusing in the 
Litany with its responses, but it was mostly meaningless 
to me, as indeed was the Service as a whole (both at 
this time and later in life). The mystic phraseology 

1824-1846 BALLYSHANNON 25 

had of course its effect, as any other such would have 
had, and the regular recurrence and solemn repetition 
of the performance. The gathering together, too, of 
neighbours, rich and poor, old and young, as in the 
presence of the Universal Father and Ruler, has an 
impressiveness different from anything else in daily life. 
If it could indeed be done simply and purely ' in spirit 
and in truth ' ! But here, in our small community, a 
section only of the neighbours drew together at the 
set solemn seasons ; another section, though animated 
by the same motives, drew together in different place 
and manner, drew apart from the former gathering, 
many of whom came from the same households ; and 
in the very act of worship both sections displayed and 
emphasised feelings of mutual suspicion, contempt and 

Once or twice I was taken clandestinely to mass by 
a nurse, on some Saint's Day most likely, and stood or 
sat for a while just inside the Chapel door. It felt 
like a strange adventure, with some flavour of horror, 
but more of repulsiveness, from the poverty of the 
congregation and the intonation of the priests. I 
remember arguing with my nurse Kitty Murray, (who 
only died this year, 1883, at the supposed age of 
ninety-three — but I don't think it was she who took 
me to the chapel), for the superiority of Protestantism 
because * the Catholics, you see, are poor people ' ; to 
which Kitty replied, ' It may be different in the next 
world.' A good answer, I felt, and attempted no 
retort ; being indeed at no time of my life addicted to 
argue for argument's sake, or for triumph. 

Although very brisk in body and mind, my health 
from the first was considered delicate. I was thin and 
pale, and for several years — between my fifth and 
eighth, perhaps — there was a swallowing of nauseous 
doses to be gone through several times a day. But 
this was nothing to the Surgeon's frequent visits with 
his horrible lancet, in consequence of a swelling on 

26 BALLYSHANNON 1824-1846 

the middle finger of the right hand (which remains 
contracted), and even in memory the bitter pain of the 
repeated cuttings makes me wince. My Aunt Bess 
used to ' dress it,' a disagreeable operation for both of 
us. She was the Maiden Aunt of the family, at this 
time between forty and fifty, very charitable and 
helpful from an unwavering sense of duty, and inflexibly 
' low-church ' in her religious opinions and practices. 
She did her duty by me, as by everybody, with 
firmness, regularity, and a general good sense; what was 
missing in her ministrations was that soothing personal 
atmosphere of love and sympathy which does everybody 
good without eifort, and especially children. This 
blessing I should doubtless have enjoyed from my dear 
Mother, had her short married life been more fortunate. 
At my grandmother's, besides my Aunt Bess, lived two 
younger Aunts, Maryanne and Everina. Aunt Everina 
glides through my memory little more than a mild 
pale shadow, straight and slender, and low-voiced. She 
had by nature a pictorial gift, and painted in water- 
colour, — flowers, landscapes, portraits of friends and 
neighbours — as well as one might be expected to do 
who had no training and never saw any examples of 
good work. Aunt Everina's health was delicate, and 
she was perhaps about twenty-eight years old when 
she died. 

Aunt Maryanne, the youngest, or voungest but one, 
of my Grandmother's large family was, both in person 
and temper, short and brisk with nez retrousse and 
lively gray eyes. She was quick and excitable, spoke 
fast, and a troublesome child would pretty soon feel 
her hands as well as her tongue. She was a Poetess, 
and wrote much on local and family subjects, but her 
simple ambition never even dreamed of actual print, 
and contented itself with sheets of note-paper, and little 
stitched books, neatly written out in something like 
printing letters, and given away to her friends. I have 
in my desk a ballad of hers on my father's approach- 

1824-1846 BALLYSHANNON 27 

ing wedding — ' Will's to be married to Maggie,' etc. — 
O Time ! 

Aunt Maryanne was a voracious novel-reader. The 
winter evenings come clearly before me ; my Grand- 
mother in her arm-chair by the fire, with close cap, 
knitting incessantly, her snuff-box on a little table, an 
old cat called ' Norway ' snoozing on the hearthrug 
and sometimes jumping into her lap ; Aunt Bess also 
knitting, grave and silent ; Aunt Maryanne reading 
aloud a Waverley Novel. I used to sit with paper and 
pencil, ' drawing ' and also listening to the story. At 
any thrilling crisis ejaculations of interest or excitement 
were heard, and the end of a chapter often gave rise to 
comments, always on the incidents and characters, just 
as though they were real, never on the literary merits 
of the work or the abilities of the author. Criticism 
of the latter kind was all but unknown in our circle, 
and surely its estate was the more gracious. 

When I acquired, no one knew how, the art of 
reading rapidly, and at once applied it to every readable 
thing that came my way, I used to find my 
Aunt's novel in the daytime and take a run into the 
story in advance of the evening reading. On one or per- 
haps two occasions when I afterwards sat listening, I was 
unable to resist the temptation to give a hint of what 
was coming, whereupon Aunt Maryanne, starting up 
from her chair, clutched me firmly with both hands and 
bundled me out of the room — a very justifiable assault. 
Scott of course furnished the staple of the winter 
evenings' entertainment ; but some minor story-tellers 
contributed to the amusement. I remember Gait's 
Laurie Todd, and Horace Smith's Brambletye House, 
with the catchword, ' Think of that, young man ! ' 

I think the Waverley Novels that most impressed 
me in those earty' days were Guy Mannering, The 
Antiquary, Ivanhoe, Kenilworth, The Talisman, but 
there were scenes in Waverley, The Fortunes of Nigel, 
Quentin Durward, The Fair Maid of Perth, The 

2 8 BALLYSHANNON 1824-1846 

Pirate^ The Monastery^ vivid as any real experience. 
In Poetry Scott again was first favourite, and the verse- 
novels of The Lady of the Lake and Marmion} 

[Here William Allingham's account of his childhood 

The following reminiscences of his schooldays are 
given from two letters, the first written by his brother 
John in 1904, the second by an old schoolfellow, Mr. 
Robert Crawford, the Engineer : — ] 

' I can recall Willy since the thirties of last century, i.e. 
since he was seven or eight years old. In 1837 or 1838 he and 
I occupied the same bedroom in the old Bank House on the 
Mall. It had one window loolcing west — a gable window — 
and off the room was a closet containing a number of books 
and pamphlets in the Norwegian and English languages. I 
remember the great storm of January 1839, and the window 
of our room being blown in, notwithstanding a feather bed 
being placed against it. Willy, I think, used sometimes to 
walk in his sleep at that time. He was very agile and expert 
at all juvenile games. He was then attending Wray's School 
in Church Lane, then the only school in Ballyshannon — 
indifferently attended by Catholics and Protestants. Wray 
taught Latin — nothing else. Willy left this school in the 
Spring of 1837 to go to a boarding-school at Killeshandra, 
Co. Cavan, kept by one Robert Allen, a commonplace person 
of the cocksure evangelical type. After a short time there 
my father got him into the Provincial Bank at Ballyshannon 
(of which he was Manager). This was in 1838, when Willy 
was fourteen years old : in December 1839 he was moved to 
the Armagh branch of the Bank — and later to the Strabane 
and Enniskillen branches in succession.' 

' He was a particularly bright and clever boy, and conquered 
the most difficult lessons with a facility that made him an 
object of envy to his less brilliant comrades. He devoted just 
sufficient time to his prescribed lessons to enable him to hold 

^ Some passages from this account of Allingham's childhood were 
published, with Mrs. Allingham's permission, by Dr. George Birkbeck 
Hill in his Introduction to Letters of Dante Gabriel Rossetti to William 
Allingham, 1854-70. 

1824-1846 BALLYSHANNON 29 

his own with class-work, while he diligently pursued investiga- 
tions on his own account in a far wider field of learning. As 
a result he frequently caused surprise to his seniors, by the 
fixed opinions he held upon many subjects usually supposed to 
be suited only to the comprehension of intellects of maturity, 
and by the clear manner in which he expressed his convictions 
concerning them. He was a great lover of Nature in all her 
phases, and particularly humane towards dumb animals, of 
which, however, so far as I know, he never made pets. Sports 
he abstained from, on principle, considering them cruel.' 

[Allingham's recollections of boarding-school were 
by no means happy. 

He was still delicate in health, and an accident at 
this time to his sore finger produced severe inflammation 
of the arm, and necessitated surgical treatment. He 
was at Killeshandra for a year only ; at the age of 
fourteen his school education was brought abruptly to 
an end. 

His father, now married again, had been out of 
health for some time, and told by a doctor that he 
could not live very much longer : he determined, 
therefore, to put William, at once, in the way of earn- 
ing his own living, and found him a place in the Bank 
at Ballyshannon. 

Here the lad began a seven years' service to his 
uncongenial work. The sudden end to the possibility 
of all further organised study and education was, to 
him, a deep disappointment and lasting regret. 

In December 1839 he was moved to the Armagh 
branch of the Bank, and here he was, at first, often very 
lonely and homesick. 

From Strabane Allingham wrote on May 11, 1841, 
asking his father to send him '• Elia^ first series, and 
Shelley poems. I shall return Elia second part and 
Lamb's Tales. Johnson's Poets are very welcome and a 
great treat.' 

In the summer of 1843, at the age of nineteen, he 
paid his first visit to London. 

30 BALLYSHANNON 1824-1846 

The following was written to his father at this time.] 

Norfolk Hotel, Surrey St., 
Strand, July 22, 1843. 

My dear Father — Here I am in a very quiet place, within 
twenty yards of the busiest street in London. 

I slept in Oxford, the night before last, and saw most of 
the city, the Bodleian Library, etc. I have seen no place equal 
to it, to please my taste. Old churches, colleges and halls at 
every step, and plenty of old houses with gables to the street 
and latticed windows. 

I can find my way here capitally. I walked this morning, 
before breakfast, to St. Paul's, round by Newgate St., Holborn, 
and Drury Lane. A matter of between two and three miles, 
I should think. 

I write to let you know where I am. Of my journey I 
will tell you no more at present, except the following facts, 
which I thought rather droll — 

1st, then, — at Stafford, in the neighbourhood of the great 
potteries, we had a horn vessel to drink from. 

2ndly, at Birmingham (the World's Toyshop) a large 
shop had no ' Chinese Tumblers.' 

3rdly, at the Angel Hotel, Oxford, the bedroom was sup- 
plied with a Cambridge Bible — and lastly, the first tune I heard 
in London was the 'Sprig of Shillelagh.' — Yours, my dear 
father, truly, W. Allingham, Junior. 

[After seven years in the Bank, Allingham obtained, 
at the age of twenty-two, a post in the Customs. An 
account of this is given, as follows, in the few remaining 
pages of this first part of his autobiography.] 


1 846-1 848 

Heartsick of more than seven years of bank-clerking, 
I found a door suddenly opened, not into an ideal 
region or anything like one, but at least into a roadway 
of life somewhat less narrow and tedious than that in 
which I was plodding. My father was offered a place 
in the Customs for my brother ; John was too young 
for the post ; it could not be kept vacant and was 
offered to me. In the spring or summer of 1846 I 
gladly took leave for ever of discount ledgers and 
current accounts, and went to Belfast for two months' 
instruction in the duties of Principal Coast Officer of 
Customs, a tolerably well-sounding title, but which 
carried with it a salary of but £So ^ year. I put up at 
a Temperance Hotel in Waring Street, slept soundly 
(O Youth !) in a small front room in that narrow noisy 
thoroughfare, trudged daily about the docks and 
timber yards learning to measure logs, piles of planks, 
and, more troublesome, ships for tonnage : indoors 
part of time practised Customs book-keeping, and talked 
to the clerks about literature and poetry in a way that 
excited some astonishment, but, on the whole, as I found 
at parting, a certain degree of curiosity and respect. 

I preached Tennyson to them, hitherto an unknown 
name, and recited bits from Locksley Hal/, meeting at 
first a cold reception, but afterwards better acknowledg- 
ment. One of the head- clerks came up to me one 


32 BELFAST 1846 

morning with the greeting, ' Well, I've read Locksley 
Hall^ and it's a very fine poem ! ' 

I don't recollect being at a theatre in Belfast. I went 
a few times to a music hall, but my spare time was 
mostly spent in reading and haunting book-sellers' 
shops, where I venture to say I laid out a good deal 
more than most people in proportion to my income, 
and managed to catch glimpses of many books which I 
could not afford or did not care to buy. From Belfast 
I repaired to the little town of Donegal, and entered on 
my office of Principal Coast Officer of the district, a 
very large one extending over many miles of coast, the 
greater part of it wild and rocky and lying exposed to 
the full violence of Atlantic gales and waves. Visiting 
wrecks was part of my duty, which sometimes demanded 
long journeys in stormy weather over rugged hilly roads, 
on an outside car, with various attendant discomforts 
which would now seem appalling. But these expedi- 
tions on the whole were pleasures, and have left 
pleasurable memories. They were part of the freer 
physical life upon which I entered in passing from the 
Bank to the Customs. Her Majesty's Customs at 
Donegal occupied a narrow little first-floor room in 
Dillon's Hotel, a good-sized and comfortably kept house, 
where I also boarded and lodged at moderate annual 
rate, having a back room where my meals were served 
to me separately, by particular favour, and the chairs, 
tables, and sometimes the floor, were piled and littered 
with books of all sizes, old and new. Here I could sit 
reading for hours every day with little interruption, 
stepping across the passage when wanted at my office 
to receive notice of the arrival of a vessel, or sign her 
papers when outward-bound, or make out a Light-Bill 
(so much for each Lighthouse passed on the voyage), 
or witness the engagement or paying-ofF of seamen. 
Outdoors, there came the occasional visiting of vessels, 
measurement of logs and deals, and ' bread-stuffs ' 
(chiefly maize) and — by far the most troublesome 

1846 DONEGAL 23 

business, but the most interesting — the examination of 
the fittings and provisions of Emigrant ships, and 
the calling over, when ready for sea, of the lists of 
Passengers, who came forward one by one, men, women, 
and children, to pass the doctor and myself. There 
were also visits to coastguard stations, to navy and 
other Pensioners, and now and again, as I have said, 
to a Wreck, usually at some distant part of the 

I was the only Customs Officer in the district, which 
suited my mood perfectly, but no doubt helped to foster 
the feeling of isolation which is so strong in me. My 
district was officially ' in the Port of Sligo,' to which 
I sent monthly accounts, and the collector visited me 
once a quarter, and I was also in some respects under 
the sub-collector of Ballyshannon ; but there was seldom 
any interference. My family name was a guarantee in 
itself ; I discharged my functions intelligently and con- 
scientiously, as well as with popularity, and the nature 
of them and of the locus in quo^ gave me a scope and 
freedom of action, and a personal respect everywhere, 
not usually associated with so humble an official position 
as mine. I enjoyed my new position on the whole, 
without analysis, as a great improvement on the Bank ; 
and, for the rest, my inner mind was brimful of love 
and poetry, and usually, all external things appeared 
trivial save in their relations to it. 

Yet I am reminded by old memoranda that there 
were sometimes over-clouding anxieties, sometimes, but 
not very frequently, from lack of money, more often 
from longing for culture, conversation, and opportunity ; 
oftenest from fear of a sudden development of some 
form of lung disease, the seeds of which I supposed to 
be sown in my bodily constitution. I can recall few 
details of my first year at Donegal. 

I used to go over often to Ballyshannon in the evening 
and return in the morning, or from Saturday to Monday, 
sleeping at my Father's ; generally travelling by the 


34 DONEGAL 1847 

Derry and Sligo mail-coach, and kept up all my old 
intimacies with the places and people by the Erne. 

I had for literary correspondents Leigh Hunt, 
George Giliillan, and Samuel Ferguson ; and for love- 
correspondent, F., whose hand-writing always sent a 
thrill through me at the first glance and the fiftieth 
perusal. What a day it was when one of those letters 
reached me ! — all the more prized for the difficulties 
that beset their transmission. I loved an Ideal, angelic- 
ally fine, impossible to hurt or destroy as a dream of 
Heaven ; but it had a very sweet little human core, 
which (I am thankful) keeps its spring -flower-like 
tenderness in my memory. Appropinquity can breed 
love, it can sometimes sully or kill it. Fate kept us 
mostly separated in space even while we were one in 
spirit ; our rare meetings were, to me at least, mystic- 
ally sacred occasions. 

[The story of William Allingham's life, in strict auto- 
biographic form, ends at this point. He wrote out, 
from his note-books, conversations he had had with 
interesting men, evidently with the intention of incor- 
porating them in his account, but beyond this date 
nothing was completed. 

The story is continued in diary form, the first entry 
being in June of the following year.] 

1847. — ^^ June this year I took my holiday and 
went to London, and on the evening of my arrival went 
to the Princess's Theatre to see Macready in Macbeth. 
He disappointed me ; his elocution grated ; but I was 
struck by the way he delivered one phrase — ' There's 
no such thing ! ' 

Next night to Norma at Her Majesty's Theatre — a 
* command ' night and a great squeeze, but I got a 
good seat in the pit. Jenny Lind is not physically well- 
fitted for the part of Norma, and her girlishness was 
made more noticeable by the stoutness of her Adalgisa 
(Barroni). She had also against her the fixed notions of 

1847 LONDON 35 

the public as to the character and person of Norma (a 
kind of Medea) being very different from every one 
who had represented it before her, A punster might 
say she was ab-Normal. Grisi too had appeared in 
it {her best character perhaps) only three days before. 
Yet Jenny Lind's personation was not only very fine 
(her singing, of course, most beautiful), but carried her 
audience with her throughout. Her bitter disappoint- 
ment was very sad, her shame and agony in the last 
scene truly affecting. Her pity for Adalgisa was most 
tenderly expressed : — 

Ah sventurata ! del tuo premier mattino 
Gia turbato e il sereno ! 

And in the subsequent scene, when Adalgisa says, 
' How pale thou art ! ' the tone of Norma's reply — 
' Pallor di morte,' — sank into one's heart. Jenny Lind 
is the only actress I ever saw that I could imagine 
myself in love with. She is too good for the stage, 

Thursday^ June 17. — Covent Garden Opera. Grisi 
in Norma. She looks the part better than Jenny does, 
and had a specially grand moment when she rushed up 
the altar-steps and smote the sacred shield. But she 
never touched my heart like the Swedish lady. 

Wednesday^ June 23. — Found Edwardes Square, 
Kensington, and Leigh Hunt's house, No. 32, left card. 

Thursday., June 24. — Note from Leigh Hunt. 

Friday., June 25. — To Edwardes Square, saw cab 
with white horse driving away from No. 32, knocked, 
and found that it was Leigh Hunt, who had just gone 
off ' to the rehearsal of his play.' This was the Play to 
be acted for his benefit by Dickens and others. If I 
had been one minute sooner he might have taken me 
with him — perhaps even into the theatre ! wild thought ! 

Sunday Evening., June 27. — 32 Edwardes Square, 
and find Leigh Hunt at last. I was shown into the 
Study, an^ had some minutes to look round at the 
Book-cases, Busts, old framed engravings, and to glance 


36 LONDON 1847 

at some of the books on the table, diligently marked 
and noted in the well-known neatest of hand-writings. 
Outside the window climbed a hop on its trellis. The 
door opened and in came the Genius Loci, a tallish 
young old man, in dark dressing-gown and wide 
turned-down shirt-collar, his copious iron-gray hair 
falling almost to his shoulders. The friendly brown 
eyes, simple yet fine-toned voice, easy hand-pressure, 
gave me greeting as to one already well-known to him. 
Our talk fell first on reason and instinct ; he maintained 
(for argument's sake, I thought) that beasts may be 
equal or superior to men. He has a light earnestness 
of manner, and toleration for almost every possible 
different view from his own. Of freewill he said, ' I 
would much rather be without it. I should like to feel 
myself taken care of in the arms of beneficent power. 
— Paganini incomparable ; when he came forward and 
struck "the first chord, my neighbour in the Opera pit (an 
Italian) exclaimed in a low voice, " O Dio ! " Violin, 
or better violino, is the name for his instrument. Com- 
mon English players 7?^^Z?, it is a good word for their 
playing. Macready is not a genius, he is our best actor 
now because there is no other. He keeps a fine house, 
but is not in what is called the best society.' 

I ask him about certain highly interesting men. 
' Dickens — a pleasant fellow, very busy now, lives in an 
old"house in Devonshire Terrace, Marylebone. 
' Carlyle — I know him well. 

' Browning — lives at Peckham, because no one else 
does ! "a. born poet, but loves contradictions. Shake- 
speare and Milton write plainly, the Sun and Moon 
write plainly, and why can't Browning ,?' I suggested 
he was the Turner of poetry, to which Leigh Hunt 

, replied, ' Now, you've said it ! He's a pleasant fellow, 

{ has few readers, and will be glad to find you admire 

I him.'(! !) 

' ' I shall now be able to see my friends oftener, and 
will take an opportunity of asking Dickens, Carlyle, 

1847 LONDON 37 

and Browning to meet you.' (Gracious Powers ! ! !) 
' I would do so for few.' 

' Moxon isnot a publisher but a secreter of books. 

'Browning says, "People may find my publisher 
after a careful search, but myself scarcely at all." 

' If I see Dickens at Mr. Talfourd's on Tuesday, I'll 
mention you to him.' 

Jenny Lind — I said I admired and loved her so much 
that I wished she would leave the stage, to which Leigh 
Hunt replied : ' Would not that be a pity, when the 
public sympathises with her sweet genius } ' 

W. A. — ' I doubt that : the public is a bad judge 
of the finest things.' L. H. agreed, 

W. A. — 'It is pleasant to walk home from the 
theatre on a fine night, perhaps the best part of the 

L. H. — ' And one is going to rest.' 

Speaking of his poem, ' The Glove and the Lions,' I 
objected to the knight's flinging the glove in the lady's 
face, but Leigh Hunt argued for it : ' He treated her as 
no woman. Every one admits the justice of it — except 
you^ now — Browning ? Oh, he is sure to take the opposite 
view from everybody else ! ' I said it would make me 
suspect the knight of having been frightened, ' cowardice 
is passionate.' ' That's true,' said Leigh Hunt. 

Walked back, under a lovely moon, to Surrey Street, 

Strand. ^-— 

' 'Friday^ July 2, Evening. — Leigh Hunt's. He was 
tired, but asked me to stay. 

L. H. — ' I hate Dante : in reading him I first found 
that a great Poet can be an unamiable man. Words- 
worth was personally very disagreeable. I am asked to 
meet Hans Christian Andersen, now in London. Can't 
understand why people want to see tne — I am used to 
myself. O yes, I like to see some men of letters. 
Dislike mountains, can't bear height, my legs shudder 
at the thought of it. — London is the best place for you ; 
why don't you try and live in it ^ ' Walk back. 


38^^ LONDON 1847 

-'^ Monday^ July 5. — A short interview with Hans 
Andersen. He had not English enough to allow of our 
conversing, asked me to write to him ; but I have 
nothing to say save that I love him, and many people 
tell him that. He is tall and lanky, with queer long 
face, but friendliness and intelligence shining through. 
Feels out-of-sorts in London. 

JVednesday^ July 7. — Evening at Leigh Hunt's. I 
give him Yityvjoodi's HieYWifiy' of Blessed Angels. 'A 
nice book to have ! ' he remarks. ' I see you are of a 
giving turn.' Religion, ' Painful to see any assemblage 
of fellow-creatures we cannot join. Ask a man why he 
does not worship Brahma, and he will begin to give you 
reasons. Believers in any form of religion don't like to 
be reminded of the possibility of doubt.' I met Andersen 
the other day at dinner and we were mutually unintelli- 
gible. I had the pleasure of feeling his arm, his arm in 
mine, on the way to dinner ; it was the thinnest arm I 
ever felt. He looks like a man in the last stage of con- 
sumption ; but, observe, I don't know that he is in the 
last stage of consumption. He looks like a large child, 
a sort of half-angel. There were many people of rank 
present, yet no one in the room looked more distingue 
than Andersen, the shoe-maker's son.' 

Sunday, July 11. — At Leigh Hunt's. He looks 
^ wonderfully different in the street from in the house. 
■' There, a spare old man in a frock-coat and black stock, 
f with weak eyes and rather careworn look ; here, a 
I young man (though of sixty), with luxuriant if gray 
\ locks, open shirt collar and flowing dressing-gown, 
f bright face, and the easiest way of talking in the world, 
\ He is fond of droll paradox, full of delicate appreciation, 

tgay, gentle, good-humoured, with a natural gift, well 
cultivated, of finding out the ' soul of goodness in things 

Monday, July 12. — Having received a civil little 
note signed ' S.R.' giving me leave, I went to Mr. 
Rogers's house in St. James's Place, and was shown 

1847 DONEGAL 39 

through three rooms hung with good pictures. In the 
parlour Raphael's ' Christ in the Garden,' Guercino 
(Mr, Rogers's favourite, the servant says). Landscape 
by Rubens, Guide's ' Crown of Thorns,' Rembrandt, 

Tuesday^ July 13. — Liverpool. Coach to George's 
Dock, Maiden City steamer. Walk, dull narrow lanes 
between huge warehouses, numbers of Irish. Breakfast 
in small hotel. Steamer — Cumberland mountains. Isle 
of Man — gentleman on deck remarked that was ' a fine 
island to be out in the sea.' Drunken sailor-passengers 
at horseplay on deck, afterwards fell asleep in a heap. 

Wednesday^ July 14. — Came on deck at Moville, 
beautiful morning ; the Foyle looked spacious and fine 
as we glided up to Derry. 

Friday^ July 16. — Coach, fine day; Strabane, 
Stranorlar, and through Barnesmore Gap to Donegal. 
Old James greets me with his kind old smile and says, 
' Sure, you've seen all sorts of elegance.' 

July 17. — To Ballyshannon. My father in the 

Monday^ July 19. — Coach to Donegal. Then car to 
Killybegs on Customs duty : horse falls. 

Tuesday, July 20. — Killybegs. Walked over Carn- 
tullagh to Bruckless to my good friends the Barretts. 
I prefer the rocky grandeur of this prospect to the 
luscious richness seen from Richmond Hill. Woman 
gathering wild heartsease ' for tea ' : they use many 
herbs thus. Dine at Bruckless ; go up river in boat. 

July 11. — Bruckless; boat to Killybegs, passing 
rocks with caverns. — Visit three vessels, Andromeda, 
South Durham and another Brig. Land and visit Roman 
Catholic Church, where is a good copy of a Murillo for 
altarpiece. Boat again, heavy rain. 

* Sowing wide the fruitless main,' — good line: whose } 
why, Leigh Hunt's. He has many happy lines and 
phrases. I feel in succession clammy, damp, wet, then 
rivulets running down the backs of my legs. Bruckless. 

40 DONEGAL 1847 

Barrett lends me a suit of his clothes, a world too wide, 
including a monstrous dress coat with brass buttons. 
Dinner, Dr. M. and ladies, Sam Cassidy, etc. Songs, 
loo, supper, hot lobster — bed 2,30. 

Thursday^ October ^%. — Donegal. Set out for Lochrus 
on Customs duty. Outside car, moors and bare 
mountains to Ardara, when the groves of Woodhill give 
a softening. The sun set into a jagged cloud breathing 
flame from its openings, rested on the dark mountains, 
disappeared, leaving a gloomy memory which soon faded 
too. Then the wind blew colder, the road became 
indistinct, the moors blended into a dim waste. Dine 
at Ardara, snug little room, adorned with pictures of 
Christ entering Jerusalem, Mary Queen of Scots, and 
Byron in a very large turn-down collar, with his arm 
round the waist of a lady with dark eyes and ringlets. 
A young naval officer in another room, who smokes 
cigars. Biddy says with pride, ' O, Ardara's never 
without a stranger ! ' Driving back — in calm cold air, 
the stars shone in intense points of light all over the 
sky, the Heavenly Plough at rest in the unfurrowed 
air, the Pleiades glittering in the east, and we travelling 
straight south from the Polar Star. Then the moon- 
dawn spread up the sky, and above a low black outline 
of hills was lifted the bright snow-cold Presence, show- 
ing the solitary road and ghostly brown moorland 
stretching away on either side. 

November i . — Donegal — dry, but gloomy and blow- 
ing. Order Miss Barrett's poems and Hood's poems — 
receive first number of Hewitt's Journal. 

Friday^ November 5. — The poor crazy man who likes 
to be called Mister Gallagher says he ' finds his head 
rather hypothetical to day ' ; attributes it ' to the 
familiarity of the atmosphere.' Howitf s Journal has 
my ' Hallow Eve Chant ' inaccurately printed. Play 
on the fiddle. 

November 9. — Emerson is in Manchester. I wrote 
to him to-day. • ■ 

iS48 DONEGAL 41 

Friday^ November 12. — Donegal Fair. Went to 
Ballyshannon, a fine clear cold day. Heard saying, 
' Like Manus, I may go where I like,' and asked origin 
of it. One Manus died and came before St. Peter, 
who was sending Catholics off in one direction and 
Protestants in another. ' What are you ' '^. says St. 
Peter. ' Nothing at all,' says Manus. ' Then go where 
you like.' 

Saturday^ November 13, 1847. — Mendelssohn dead I 
Wrote lines, ' By the shore, a plot of ground.' 

IVednesday^ November 24. — Letter from Emerson. 

November 30. — Visit Poorhouse, Tom Read, crazy 
man with small sharp black eyes ; sometimes keeps a 
piece of iron on his head to do his brain good ; plays 
on a fiddle, the first and second strings only packthread, 
' Ain kind Dearie,' ' Pandun o' Rafferty,' grunting and 
groaning all the while, and groaning fiercely when he 
struck a note out of tune. I promise him strings. 
' Does your Honour live far away .'' ' 

December 3. — Irish Idylls. Read Blot in the 
''Scutcheon. Bravo, Browning ! 

Decetnber 5. — Dream — dine with the Queen, who 
asks me to ' try her custard pudding.' I ask if Her 
Majesty knows the song of ' Miss Baily,' and recite it to 
her. Cobbett's Tear in America good. Cobbett was 
a Man. ' 

"December 21. — Carlyle on Johnson : unfair cut at 
poor Keats — ' If a man can be killed by a review, let it 
be done.* If Carlyle is a sturdy big-boned man, let him 
be thankful and considerate. 

[In the following year nothing is recorded in the 
diary at any length until September.] 

Saturday, September 16, 1848. — Donegal. To Inver. 
Cranny by field-path. The MacMunn family friendly 
and cheerful, both old and young, a pleasure to see. 
The freshness and innocence of the country on every- 
thing in such a household. 

42 DONEGAL 1848 

Drive back, to Donegal ; slanting sunrays and 
shadows on the blue hills. Pastoral vale of Killymard, 
some barley still green, some in stocks, oats mostly ripe, 
little wheat. I like to think of the Cranny family. 
Great the boon of a sweet face ! Immense the benefit 
of a good matron — doing, helping, encouraging, check- 
ing, soothing, suggesting, guiding everything and 
everywhere, without fuss, almost unnoticed. Watching 
every wheel and pivot, every movement of the little 
commonwealth's mechanism, and with a soft feather 
and light touch applying the oil of gentleness wherever 
needed, so that the whole runs smoothly, without grate 
or jar, and with only the soft hum of happy employ- 
ment, as of bees among blossoms. O the beauty of a 
household rich in innocence, industry, and mutual love ! 

Ultonians, in whom Scotch and English order and 
decency are blended with Irish heartiness, are a good 
kind of people, and the peculiar wild fun and tender 
fancy belonging to the Kelts are, not seldom, transfused 
among those who have lived so long in the midst of 
Irish customs, traditions, music, and scenery, — not to 
speak of intermarriages. MacMunn is doubtless a 
Scotch name, in spite of the saying, ' Per O atque Mac 
veros cognoscis Hibernos.' Perhaps Hiberni stands 
for Kelts. A question : if Scotch Kelts be taken as 
descended from Irish (Scotic) ancestors, how comes 
there to be such a crowd of Macs amonor the Low- 


landers, and many of them with emphatically Lowland 
characteristics ^ 

Glimpse of happy domestic life at Cranny to-dav 
delightful. Delightful also to drive back at evening to 
the certainty of rest, retirement, books, and perhaps 
something good from the Post Office — which may this 
moment be on our table waiting to greet us. 

Sunday, Septembey 17. — Fine morning, but a smell 
of winter in the sunny air ; night frosts. On Martin's 
car to Ballyshannon. Dull wide sky. Thoughts on 
things in general. Are there not moods when earth 

i848 DUBLIN 43 

life seems long enough, and to fall asleep for ever 
nothing to repine at ? Yes, but these are not the best 
moods. Between the third and fourth mile-stone my 
mind brightens, without any traceable cause. Perhaps 
God will leave the human race on the Earth planet 
until, in the aggregate, they shall have ransacked and 
learned everything possible to them about its nature 
and laws. 

Tuesday^ September 19. — Ballyshannon — fine. Prac- 
tise violin with Hagarty, 12 to 2. Wet evening. 
Violin again, Haydn and Mozart. 

September 26. — Dine at Peter Kelly's, nine priests at 
table — much song-singing afterwards. 

Sunday, October 8. — Dublin. Conviction of O'Brien. 
Church. Anthem, fine voices. Mere harmony soon 

As to the Religious Service, who came here for that ? 
Ah, if there were one sufficient faith and worship for 
all — how happy, peaceful, perfect a privilege it were to 
come together, how noble to be a Minister, and how 
noble it would behove a Minister to be ! 

Tuesday y October 10. — Dublin; to Hawkins St. 
Theatre to see Jenny Lind in Sonnambula^ her opening 
night here. An hour at door, crowd thickening, rush 
and crush upstairs to lower gallery. Curtain rises, the 
charming Jenny has to wait till the reiterated greetings 
subside. ' Three cheers for Jenny Lind ! ' (from the 
gallery). ' Wan cheer more ! ' 'A cheer for her 
Mother ! ' at which Amina smiled. Then we had 
Come per me sereno^ etc., all to perfection, but sung 
as I fancied more floridly than when I heard her 
in London. She looks thinner. Flower-scene most 
exquisite and touching ! O fiore — Ah non credea^ the 
flowers falling through her hands as she sings. Ah ! 
non giunge not very good, I thought ; encored, on 
account of its difficulty. Half a dozen to a dozen 
bouquets were thrown, no extraordinary excitement. 
When curtain fell 1 rushed down and made my way 




into the pit in the hope of getting one of Amina's 
flowers which had fallen near the footlights, but it 
was gone. Cold air outside, crowd, Jenny's carriage, 

The Theatre at best a hollow, unwholesome, unsatis- 
fying excitement. 

October 14. — Opera again. La Figlia del Reggim- 
mento. Jenny's camp manner, dashing shake of the 
hand, etc., but no way bold or impudent. 

December 29. — Chateaubriand. He is not entirely 
free from some of the particular sins of French writing. 
He affects Byronism. 

To Session Court : girl convicted of stealing a purse 
and sentenced to seven years' transportation ; she is 
removed shrieking violently. It seems a severe sentence. 

Wrote to Henry Sutton. 



Monday^ January i, Donegal, 1849. — Write on slavery. 
Black V. White (is writing for pay advisable ?) Walk 
to mill. Hungry — dinner — violin, Tennyson's poems. 
Reverend Jos. Welsh and English land-agent Wilson, 
after attending investigation into the Wray explosion, 
came to a snack in my room. Wilson looked into my 
Tennyson, and saying, ' Now this is what I call stuff I ' 
began to read out part of i^none. I said, ' Let me look 
at it,' and put the book in my pocket without another 
word. He appeared rather stunned. How Tennyson 
gives the effect of everything, — enriched with a peculiar 
glow ! Violin again. 

Friday^ January 5. — Frost. Customs accounts. To 
Killybegs by Mail-Car, walk up the long hills, slip on 
skates and skate a little by the road-side, then run after 
the car, warm. Denis laughing. 

Inver. Sun sinking, deep red globe with a stroke 
of black cloud in the centre ; now an arch, as it were 
the open gate of Heaven revealing glory within ; now 
a ruby moon ; now the last look from a deep eye of 
radiance, and — all's gone. 

Wrote ' Crucible.' Read aloud. 

January 8. — At Killybegs. Read Tennyson and 
Wittick's Norway. Fairy Song : ' Wee folk, good 
folk,' etc. Violin. 

Thursday., March 15. — Ballyshannon. Plant ivy 



round the Old Barrack ruins, accompanied by three 
pairs of slate castanets. Walk through fields at Cool- 
colly, with sycamores, green mounds, and rillet hid 
within a hedge, a place of mysterious beauty to me in 
old old days of childhood ; and so across the Abbey 
river, round Legaltion Lough, and home. Mem.: the 
word ' brook ' not used here : they say ' river ' or 
' water ' ; and ' water ' is also applied to large streams. 
After dinner down the Mall ; boys with hoops leaping 
wall. Aboard Kent. Sailors on boat, a coarse and 
reckless set. 

People catching young eels {lifogues) no thicker 
than twine, in bags ; they are cooked into the shape of 
cakes or small cheeses. But this catching of the fry is 
not allowed. Tea. French. 

Mr. Heagney (the Collector) remarks on hearing 
of the death of a retired Customs officer whom he 
knew, ' It's a queer world this ! There's a man gone 
that had eleven and eightpence a day — eleven and 
eightpence ! I wonder where Moses and Aaron are now, 
and David and Goliath, and all these. They were 
certainly here — they certainly were. And Nero and 
Caligula too — bad, bad men, tyrants — tye-ranny — tye- 
rrannous ! — not a chirp in them ! ' Some ships were 
waiting in the bay for a chance of crossing the bar. I 
asked, ' Will they get in to-day .'' ' Mr. H. (ironically), 
' Ay ! — there's a line of breakers as white as Ananias's 
wall at Jerusalem, and the Alps and Apennines out 
beyond them. Get in ! ' 

Sunday^ June 24. — Ballyshannon. Have been ap- 
pointed Controller of Customs at Ramsey, Isle of Man, 
at _^i20 a year. Letter to-day ordering me to go. 
Last Sunday here — for how long } 

Thursday^ June 28. — Walk along river by Upper Fall 
to Stonewold. Then Jane, Clarissa, sister Jane and I 
by riverside, grassy headlands, leafy gulfs, rushing 
white steam (described in Music Master') to Camlin. 

Saturday 30. — Coach to Dublin. Dawn purple and 

1849 DUBLIN 47 

gold, plains of Meath, the round sun rises. Very like 
the first morning I ever entered Dublin. 

Dine at Professor MacGauley's, Marlboro' St. Smell 
of machine oil. Scientific Bachelor's menage — viands, 
roast beef, and boiled mutton. Scampish looking 
young woman waited. At dinner, Bishop Denvir 
(Catholic), Dr. O'Connell, D.D., Priest Laffan, Dr. 
Stapleton, M.D., Uncles John and James, John-James 
and Edward, W.A., and the host. Priest LafFan has 
red cheeks and black eyes, big calves and rich voice, — 
sure to be a singer. After dinner much talking and 
laughing, but the bishop silent. 

Shakespeare's morality, and that of the other 
Elizabethan Dramatists. Catholicity. Uncle John 
(tho' his wife is devoted to the Church) is well known 
to be thoroughly heterodox. Dr. O'Connell fell to 
bantering him. ' You would make as good a clergyman 
as any of us, sir ! You'd only have to speak dog- 
matically and correctly ' {i.e. no matter what you 
believed). Uncle John shook his head. Presently 
O'Connell exclaimed (he was very talkative), ' O my 
God ! — I saw some children in the street to-day fighting 
about a marble, and I longed to be like them, all their 
happiness centred in that !' 

Uncle John, — ' I shouldn't care for such happiness.' 

Dr. Stapleton. — ' To mortify the flesh, that's the 
whole thing ; the flesh ; to mortify the flesh.' 

Then O'Connell told us how he answered ' Old 
Whately ' on some logical point and got the better of 
him. After this came a discussion on hypocrisy, 
MacGauley arguing that it was better for public morals 
when a man concealed his vices. Dr. S. exclaimed, 
' Give me the rock that shows its head above the 
billows.' Then they came back to religion, and Uncle 
John said some plain things about the incredibility of 
much that is taught under that name, backed by his 
brother-in-law, Dan Brett, a shrewd and gentlemanly 
old Dubliner. Dr. O'Connell turned on Brett, seeking 

48 DUBLIN 1849 

to pose him, — ' Do you believe in a God ? ' to which 
Dan quietly replied, ' I decline answering that question, 
because I consider it offensive.' On which the professor 
proposed that we should go to the workshop. The 
silent bishop had already gone thither, and we found 
him mending an engine-band. 

The Church of Rome, entrenched within elaborate 
logical lines, fears no assault made according to logical 
rule. She knows that the existence of the Deity can 
neither be proved nor disproved by argument, and 
that the opponent who says ' Yes ' or ' No ' to this 
question may be made to look foolish. 

We looked at furnace, etc., and passed into the 
lecture-theatre and workshop. A large bottle labelled 
Liq. Ammon. Fortiss. stood on a shelf. Dr. Stapleton 
remarking knowingly, ' Mac never has this good,' 
pulled out the stopper and put his nose over the 
bottle, but immediately jerked his head aside as if he 
had received a blow — as in fact he had. We all felt 
the violent smell, and there was laughter ; but in the 
course of a few minutes all one side of the doctor's face 
grew red and swollen, tho' he was in too jovial a mood 
to notice it much. We saw models of various engines, 
microscopes, electric machine, air-pumps, and what not. 
Then we returned to the parlour again and more liquid 
applications, internal this time, and not ammonia. The 
D.D. and M.D. showed the effects plainly in both 
the manner and substance of their speech. They pro- 
posed ' changing professions.' 

Dr. S. — ' I'll teach you how to manage the ladies, — 
and I know that you could do it well. I could make the 
ladies cry at my sermons and give lots of money ; 
they'd say, " what a fine man he is ! " ' 

Our host had discovered something that wanted 
setting right in the workshop and stayed behind. Dr. 
O'C. : ' Poor Mac ! he'll be so annoyed. Go down for 
him, tell him to come up till we have a game of cards.' 
After an argument between MacGauley and John- 

iS49 RAMSEY 49 

James on valves, our party took leave and mounted a 
back outside-car in Gloucester Street, which was driven 
with erratic speed. Uncle John remarked in his usual 
placid way, ' 1 look on myself as in some danger now,' 
and my cousin gave anecdotes of upsets but we got 
safe home. 

Sunday^ July i . — Dine at Seafield. Uncle John tells 
of sturdy beggar who accosted him with a menacing 
look, ' If I'm not fed, I'll ate a man ! ' to which Uncle 
J, answered quietly, ' Don't spare him on my account.' 

July 2. — North Wall. Isle of Man steamer. 

Douglas^ Isle of Man ^ July 3. — Custom-House : walk 
about narrow streets. Sign declaration. Collector 
Baldwin gentlemanly and clever, says of Isle of Man : 
' It's a queer place — a very queer place ! ' Doesn't like 
it. Coach for Ramsey. Hilly road : horses crawl 
up and dash down alarmingly. Driver and guard both 
boys, the first of Lancashire parentage, the other, ' Joe,' 
of Irish. Manx language. Green hills and valleys 
with the level sea behind, just like Ireland. Cloven 
stones : Irish Joe shows the superior 'cuteness of his 
breed, and looseness of statement as well. Hill into 
Laxey — I walk up hill beyond ; talk to a girl sing- 
ing by the roadside and to a boy herding cows, and 
find them frank and civil. We see King Orry's grave 
on the hill. Joe sings ' His courting coat on,' and 
some Manx songs. I sing. View of Ramsey, Albert 
Tower, etc. To Albert Hotel ; pay six shillings for 
carriage of trunks, etc. Tea and bed. 

Ramsey^ Wednesday, July 4. — Ask if I can go to 
the Tynwald to-morrow. 

Ramsey, Thursday, July 5. — 6 o'clock — fine market- 
place ; coach. Crowds on the road. Coach passengers 
hearty and conversational. Dumpling-faced woman in 
black satin, with black eyes and hair to match. Pretty 
wooded road takes us past Bishop's Court, lying low, 
with neat pastures, the palace of ' Sodor and Man,' a 
Bishop who has several other ecclesiastics to help him 


50 RAMSEY 1849 

in supervising the church affairs of an island of 50,000 
souls, mostly Methodists, ' Sodor,' whatever it was, 
non est inventus : Bishop should go and look for it. 
Coach ; crowds on the road. Kirkmichael (Kirmickle) ; 
into a barer country with peep of the sea, and so to 
St. John's, where we see booths and people, and the tent 
upon ancient Tynwald Hill itself, a little grassy mound 
about twelve feet high, cut into three terraces and a 
flight of steps. I go into the empty tent, no one 
questioning. Take a sketch. Soldiers march in, play- 
ing Fulla-la-la-lu. Coach arrives with band. Crowd 
moves slowly about as at a small country fair. In the 
church, the more fashionable folk : the portly deemster 
and the dapper deemster, both bowing and smirking 
among their numerous acquaintances. The building 
new and showy, with painted windows and confectionery 
chandeliers. Enter Governor Hope, a tall red-haired, 
light-complexioned Scot, in green uniform, high-plumed 
cocked hat resting on his arm. A stout butcher-like 
parson then goes through the service. Then out, the 
procession is formed and moves to the hill, which is 
now thronged. A functionary stands at the door of 
the tent and reads something which few can hear, but 
which is understood to be the Laws recently passed by 
the House of Keys. A small man next me is in extreme 
anxiety to hear and see — calls out ' Silence there ! ' — 
' Down with that parasol ! ' then to me, * Can you hear 
what they're saying ? Is it Manx ? Has he a wig 
on ? ' ' No, but he has a pair of spectacles.' All over 
here. They return to church, some huzza, Hope 
enchanted, smiles and waves his golden hair ; when his 
hat and feathers are on he looks at least ten feet 
high. Then the booths are full of countryfolk, male and 
female, with mugs of ale, etc. Fiddlers — soldiers — 
band. Drovers with horses. Fishermen — drunken 
men and boys. Wearisome. 6 o'clock, coach at 
last, driver drunk, galloping down hills, swaying and 
shaking, a dangerous journey; one woman-passenger 

i849 LONDON 51 

frightened ; — dumpling-faced woman doesn't mind, ' has 
enjoyed herself jo much ! ' — eats ginger-bread. Another 
stout young woman only says, ' Eh, law ! ' when the 
coach lurches. The driver grows benevolent, says often, 
' Bless you, sir — bless you — bless you ! ' We get safe 
back to Ramsey after all. The Manx horses seem used 
to this sort of travelling, and I suppose they manage 
their drivers. 

July 6. — A man at table d'hcte to-day, dark, long- 
haired, notable looking ; as he sat after dinner with 
wine and cigar a thought flashed — Could it be Alfred 
Tennyson ! Talked a little with him, and Tennyson 
quickly vanished. 

Sunday^ July 11. — Talk metaphysics with Schiller 
(' relation of the poet '). He calls himself a Progression- 
ist. We spoke of Swedenborg. Performance of Faust 
at Frankfort — Richter, Goethe, Carlyle, etc. 

Monday^ July 23. — Leave come — preparations. 

Wednesday^ July 25. — London — Norfolk Hotel, 
Surrey Street. Cholera bad. Never thought about it ! 
Out to visit Vernon Gallery. Drury Lane pit, found 
The Beggar s Opera very dull, and Sims Reeves, in spite 
of his voice, a vulgar singer. 

July 26. — To Cheyne Row, Chelsea. Mr. Carlyle 
not returned, and may not for another month. Edwardes 
Square — Leigh Hunt not in. 

Saturday^ July 2^. — Fine. Royal Academy. Turner's 
'Wreck Buoy ' — Webster's * Slide,' Mulready's 'Women 
Bathing,' Martin's blue ' Happy Valley.' Stanfield's 
water looks like beer after Turner's prismatic crystal. 
Landseer's ' Dying Lion,' Leslie's ' Don Quixote and the 
Chaplain.' Water Colour Exhibition. 

August 3. — Lincoln's Inn. St. Mary Axe, Duke's 
Place, Synagogue. There remains a higher feeling than 
curiosity in witnessing the religious ceremonies of this 
ancient Race in the heart of a great alien City, and in 
the 1 849th year of a rival Era. 

52 LONDON 1849 

Sunday, August 5. — To Kentish Town and walk to 
Highgate Cemetery, terrace, catacombs, yews, view of 
London. Out to churchyard to find Coleridge's grave, 
locked ; inquire for sexton's house, he is ' at church ' ; 
so I have to peep through gate at what a man tells 
me is the railing round C.'s grave, under an ivied 
wall. Look then at the house where he lived with 
Dr. Oilman (now Surgeon Brendon's), plain corner 
house of last century with dormer windows and large 
window in gable, shaded by a mimosa. Some fine elms 
and beeches are ranged in front, and tall trees rise 
behind. Out of one window looks a black cat, perhaps 
belonging to the Witch of Christabel. Splendid evening, 
sun-lighted road, down Highgate Hill on omnibus. 
Fleet Street. Chop at 'The Cock.' Curious old 
mantelpiece, which I sketched on fly-leaf of Poe's 
Poems, bought at a book-stall. Had the waiter ever 
heard of a Mr. Tennyson } — ' Mr. Tennyson, sir ^ — 
No, sir.' Tried the other waiter : he had heard of 
him, but had never seen him. 

I. — 'You're not "the plump head-waiter".?' — 'Oh, 
you mean William, sir. He's here every day but 

Thursday, August^. — Chop at ' Cock' with half a pint 
of port to drink the Poet's health. The veritable 
William waited on me. 

' Are you Mr. Tennyson's friend ' } 

William. — ' He says so, sir.' 

This answer puzzled me. (Does William think it 
was a liberty to put him in rhyme ?) ' Has he been 
often here } ' 

W. — ' I don't know his appearance at all, sir. A 
gen'elman might be coming 'ere for twenty years 
without my knowing his name. Thousands 'ave asked 
me the same question, and some won't believe but that 
I know all about it. But I don't. I should like to 
see him, — very much. I'm told he's breaking, sir. 
I should like to see him.' William evidently felt 

iS49 LONDON 53 

sorrowful, and in a manner aggrieved, at never having 
identified the man who spoke of him so familiarly. 

August II. — To Colchester. Find Henry Sutton's 
lodging. Talk, then out to walk. Visit the castle by 
twilight, the time for all ruins. Sutton gives me a 
letter to Mr. Patmore. 

August 15. — Letter from Mr. Coventry Patmore, 
very kind, and made me happy : ticket for Museum 
Library enclosed. 

August 16. — To British Museum. I ask for Mr. 
Patmore, and am shown in to him — a tall, thin, mild- 
faced young man, very kind. We talk about Blake. 
We walk through the rooms. 

Friday^ August 17. — To Slater, publisher, and talked 
to him about a new edition of Blake's poems : civil, 
and seems inclined to publish. 

Saturday, August 18. — British Museum Library: 
Mr. Patmore. He helps me to look up Blake, but 
without success ; they seem to have nothing of his. 
We look at books of Middle Age Art ; saints and 
demons. P. tells me he has written a book or article 
on architecture, with a quite new theory, — ' You will 
be surprised it has not been hit upon before. Can 
you walk up with me this evening "? ' — ' Yes.' 

On the way to Camden Town he told me about 
his new poem. 

Neat small house on left-hand side of road, near a 
railway bridge. Mrs. Patmore — ' Emily.' Tea and 
cake. Two small sitting-rooms with folding door 
between : front room has engraved portraits of Words- 
worth and Faraday over the mantelpiece ('the two 
greatest men of our time '), a round table with ten or 
a dozen books, and plaster cast of a statuette of Puck — 
just alighted on a mushroom and about to push with 
his toe a bewildered frog which a snake is on the point 
of snapping up. You can see that he saves the frog 
out of fun mostly, and to tease the snake. He is a 
sturdy elf, plainly, yet not humanly, masculine. A 

54 LONDON 1849 

very original bit of work, by ' a young artist named 
Woolner.' In the back room P.'s writing-table at the 
window, with a few bookshelves beside it. I noticed 
Coleridge's Table Talk and Aids to Reflection^ and Keats's 
Remains. Then we started on a walk northward. 
Patmore thoroughly agrees with me that artistic form 
is necessary to poetry. ' Tennyson perhaps likes the 
" Vision of Sin " best of his own poems. He said it was 
suggested to him by a line rejected from another poem.' 
(This line is, I afterwards learned, ' A little grain of 
conscience made him sour.') 

We came to Hampstead Heath, and looked past a 
foreground of fir-trees over a wide undulating prospect 
tufted with trees, and richly cultivated, a lake shining 
in the distance under the evening sky. On the other 
side huge London lying sombre and silent. We were 
just in time to see the effect of the lighting of the 
lamps. The dusky mass awoke, and here and there, 
and soon all over, glowed with multitudinous sparks, — 
' like,' said Patmore, ' the volcanic crust of the earth 
not yet cooled ' — or like the advancing judgment of 
the Last Day : no ark avails against that fiery deluge. 
The evening was growing cold as we returned to 
Highgate and descended the hill, P. showing me on 
the way the house, in a sort of crescent with trees 
before it, where he formerly lived, and where Emerson 
and Tennyson sat at his table and liked each other. 

Incidentally a poem was mentioned, ' The Pilot's 

Daughter,' which it seems Emerson showed to Patmore. 

r ' It was mine,' I said ; ' I sent it to Emerson in a 

■: letter ' (Patmore surprised). ' Are you the writer of 

^; that ^ I must take care what I say ! ' Then he went 

f on to ask me how much poetry I had written : had I 

\ as many verses as would fill seventy pages ? ' Seventy 

pages like that would be something uncommon ! ' (this 

is mighty encouraging !) After some supper Patmore 

showed me in MS. his poem of' The Storm,' or 'The Two 

Journeys.' Tennyson's mark is on the margin in various 

1849 RAMSEY 55 

places : ' + T.' Patmore said : ' When Tennyson finds 
anything in poetry that touches him — not pathos, but 
a happy hne or epithet — the tears come into his eyes.' 
He went on to tell me : ' I have in this room perhaps 
the greatest literary treasure in England — the manu- 
script of Tennyson's next poem. It is written in a thing 
like a butcher's account-book. He left it behind him 
in his lodging when he was up in London and wrote to 
me to go and look for it. He had no other copy, and 
he never remembers his verses. I found it by chance, 
in a drawer ; if I had been a little later it would prob- 
ably have been sold to a butter-shop.' Before I went 
away Patmore took out this MS. book from a cabinet 
and turned over the leaves before my longing eyes, but 
Tennyson had told him not to show it to anybody. 
Mrs. Patmore had copied it out for the press, and T. 
gave her the original. 

I was not even told the title at this time. It was In 

' It is the best thing he has ever done,' said 

Sunday, August 19. — Dinner at Mr. Patmore's. Dis- 
cussion on writing poetry — he for consciousness, I for 
unconsciousness : he thinks a poet ought to know 
exactly what he wants to do and how to set about it ; 
I am for knowing all one can, but also for poetising 
without conscious reference to rules and precedents. I 
produce my verses — 'Pilot's Daughter,' 'By the 
Shore,' ' Fairies,' etc. P. praises, and proposes a joint 

Tuesday, August 21. — Eugene P. calls and we walk 
westward and into Hyde Park. In Piccadilly we meet .; ^J^j 
Leigh Hunt and I greet him. As we say good-bye 
Eugene Patmore says, ' I am very glad to have seen 
Leigh Hunt — he's much pleasanter-looking than I 
expected, — an excellent face.' Leigh Hunt is now |_ jr 
sixty-five. If I ever have any doubts about him, they It ^ ^ 
vanish at one glance of his eye. 


56 RAMSEY 1849 

September 4. — Unexpected letter : appointed Sub- 
Controller at Ballyshannon. ;^i2o a year. 

Ramsey^ October 10. — Walk on shore — into coffee- 
room : characteristic island scene : Mr. G. at table, a 
plate of sandwiches before him, nodding stiffly off his chair 
with half-closed eyes : T. asleep on the sofa. I waken 
G. for half a minute, when he goes to sofa and lies down, 
half on T., half on a chair. 1 sketch them. Landlord 
comes in. ' When you've done with them I want to 
get 'em off.' Sketch done, I waken them with a tune 
on the poker and fire shovel : G. puts a bed-chamber 
candlestick twice on his head before he is convinced 
it is not his hat ; they get away somehow. Island of 
Trinculos and Calibans, no Prospero, alas no Miranda. 

Monday^ October 15. — 'Steamer coming ! seen cross- 
ing the bay,' hurry to boat, with Manx kitten in a 
basket (G. declares it was stolen from him). Men 
pull fast, one swinging a lantern for signal — ' She mayn't 
wait for you ! ' — ' She's brought to ! ' Alongside, I 
tumble up, boxes ditto ; one of the men — ' You were 
very near being left behind.' 

Saloon, chat. On deck, Ramsey light in the 
distance, Point of Ayr brilliant. Good-bye ! 

Manx kitten escapes and is recovered after an excit- 
ing hunt. Close to Mull of Galloway. Talk with 
Captain C. Below, all turned in but Mr. L. Mr. F. 
shows his jolly red John Browdie face over the edge of 
his berth. Next to him a drunken gentleman trying 
hard to repeat — 

She walks the water like a-a-a thingolife. 

As if t'dare (stage whisper) th' el'ments, t'strife. 

I turn in, drest. In the morning some one asks, 
* Steward, where are we now ^ ' 

Steward (aggrieved, with an Ulster accent) : ' Ah, 
it's a shame for you to be always asking me questions ! 
You haven't given me a bit a' pace the whole night.' 

' I only asked you once.* 


* You've been askin' me all night.' 

It was human, and not a bit insolent. Can an 
Englishman of the serving class assert himself without 
insolence ,'' 

Five in the morning, off Portrush, Mr. F. up and 
others. Drunken gentleman lowered over the side into 
a boat. I turn to sleep again, till I hear, ' within four 
miles of Derry,' when up and on deck to a cold fine 
morning and beautiful broad river. Land at wharf, 
car to inn, walk up town and back to breakfast. Then 
railway, and with my cousin Sam Watt to Strabane. 
Sims's Hotel, greet and am greeted by various — all 
seems as if it had happened already. 

Wednesday^ October 17. — Up about 7. Wet and 
windy. O for a coach, not an outside-car ! Tom the 
waiter (blackish, bilious, middle-aged little man) in a 
chronic rage with nobody in particular, just as formerly. 
A coach is to go. Cup of tea. Inside seat 9s. 9d. — 
Donegal. Letter from Arthur Clough, which I read in 
coach. Home. Custom-House. 

I forgot to record that on my day of leaving the 
Bibulous Island, while waiting for the steamer I ordered 
and drank a glass of whisky toddy, thereby making a 
sensation in the hotel, for up till then I had never 
drunk a drop of alcohol in Mona, partly from economy, 
but more to keep at arm's length the continual incite- 
ment to liquid excess. If one considers the case as a 
moraUst, I don't know whether I was right or wrong to 
take this toddy in extremis. It put me, at all events, 
in the true light as a voluntary abstainer not a vowed 
teetotaller, and I am as unwilling to be thought better 
than I am — as worse. 

Bally shannon., March 25, 1850. — Read announce- 
ment of new poem by Browning, ' Christmas Eve and 
Easter Day ' — what will he do with it } 

Saturday^ April 6. — Abbey River, Washpool : sit 
under shadow of ruined house with back to a rock. 


reading Emerson on Plato, to the tune of running 
water, — a good accompaniment to study. 

Sunday^ April 7. — A guinea from Household Words 
for ' Lady Alice,' with a compliment from Dickens. 
Walk, Rockfields, the valley edge ; Hanagan's steps. 
After tea wrote ' The Touchstone.' Bed late. 

Friday^ April 12. — Busy at Office. Goethe's Auto- 
biography. Riverside, lie on grass, hat off, scribbling 
down poems ; an ant or spider sometimes crossing the 
sunny page ; bee bustling in my ear. For some days 
I have written a poem every evening ; am beginning 
to know how to write poetry. 

Monday^ 22. — Bundoran, walk on shore towards the 
caves. Read Emerson on Swedenborg, high and pleasant 
thoughts ; look over the Atlantic to America and 
to Emerson. Thought of a tragedy. Evening — 
' Flowers and Poets.' 

Thursday, April 25. — Letter from Patmore, returning 
' The Music Master ' ; is going to show my lyrics to 
Tennyson. Copy twelve new ones and send them with 

Saturday, April 2'j. — Fine — Stonewold — rode brown 
mare. Home and find Wordsworth is gone ! Rode 
back to Stonewold, chanting an improvised psalm to 
the departed spirit. Do not tell of the death : nobody 
to care. Sunset beautiful. 

Sunday, April 28. — Lines on Wordsworth's death. 
Evening — revise ' The Music Master.' 

Tuesday, May 2. — Very fine. Fair Day. Women 
trying to sell cow, ' As honest a little cow as stands in 
the fair.' 

Down the Mall with Thoreau's book, tVeek on 
the Concord and Merrimac Rivers, green slope near the 
Coves. Boat, floating. Thoreau's nature and freshness, 
mixed with impatience. Back to town and sit on wall 
to watch the Fair. 

London, Friday, July 19. — With Woolner, two 

iS5o LONDON 59 

Rossettis, and Buchanan Reid in omnibus to Chelsea, to 
Holman Hunt's lodging, large first-floor room looking 
on river, near the old church. Deverell — much talk on 
pictures, etc. ; we have coffee and fruit ; some lie on 
the floor smoking. 

Elegiac poem — 'To N. P. Rogers, Esq., in Heaven.' 
Painter proposing to call his picture ' Gil Bias about 
to endeavour to assume an air of unconcern while 
waiting on the robbers in their cave ' — a very subtle 
shade of expression. ' Bring some milk from the 
pantry,' — Tipsy man in reply : ' Is it done up in paper 
or lying about loose ^ ' 

Hunt's picture of ' Claudio and Isabella ' ; he has to 
be at the Royal Academy every morning now at seven, 
copying for somebody. As it was now late, and his 
guests showed no wish to depart. Hunt lay down on 
three chairs for a nap ; but they only made merry of 
his drowsiness, proposed to sit on him, etc., and so the 
time lounged on till dawn was broad upon the river 
and its trailing barges, and D. G. Rossetti (usual 
Captain on such occasions and notorious night-bird) 
uprooted himself at last from some cushion or easy- 
chair, and all departed, after three o'clock, save myself, 
to whom Hunt kindly offered a spare bed. 

July 21. — To Mrs. Howitt's, tea. Miss Meteyard 
and others. 

September 7. — Letter from T. Carlyle, Ecclefechan, 
recommends me to study general history and German. 

September 17. — Letter and portrait from Leigh 
Hunt. [In Mrs. AlHngham's possession.] — — 



I VENTURED to Send my first volume of verse (1850) 
to Tennyson from Ballyshannon. I don't think he 
wrote to me, but I heard indirectly that he thought well 
of it ; and during a visit to London in the summer of 
1 85 1 Coventry Patmore, to my boundless joy, let me 
know that I might call on the great Poet, then not long 
married, and living at Twickenham. 

Saturday^ June 28, was the appointed day, and in the 
warm afternoon I walked from Twickenham Railway 
Station to Montpelier Row, quite away from the 
village. It proved to be a single row of about a dozen 
moderate-sized houses, that seemed dropped by accident 
among quiet fields and large trees, * Chapel House ' 
where T. lived (so called I know not why) being the 
last at the south end of the terrace, where I think the 
byroad ended. 

I was admitted, shown upstairs into a room with 
books lying about, and soon came in a tall, broad- 
shouldered swarthy man, slightly stooping, with loose 
dark hair and beard. He wore spectacles, and was 
obviously very near-sighted. Hollow cheeks and the 
dark pallor of his skin gave him an unhealthy appear- 
ance. He was a strange and almost spectral figure. 
The Great Man peered close at me, and then shook 
hands cordially, yet with a profound quietude of 
manner. He was then about forty-one, but looked 


I85I LONDON 6 1 

much older, from his bulk, his short-sight, stooping 
shoulders, and loose careless dress. He looked tired, 
and said he had been asleep and was suffering from hay- 
fever. Mrs. Tennyson came in, very sweet and 
courteous, with low soft voice, and by and by when I 
rose to take leave she said, ' Won't you stay for dinner ? ' 
which I was too happy to do. Mr. Tennyson went 
out, and returning took me upstairs to his study — a 
small room looking out to the back over gardens and 
trees. He took up my volume of poems, saying, ' You 
can see it is a good deal dirtier than most of the 
books.' Then turning the pages, he made critical 
remarks, mostly laudatory. Of ' Cross Examination ' he 
said, ' I looked sharp at it to see if any of the rhymes 
were forced.' He objected to ' rose ' and ' clothes ' in 
' The Touchstone ' (since corrected). Then he asked, 
' Do you dislike to hear your own things read ? ' and 
receiving a respectfully encouraging reply, read two of 
the ' iEolian Harps,' first, ' Is it all in vain .? ' then, 
' What saith the River ? ' The rich, slow solemn chant 
of his voice glorified the little poems. In reading the 
last line of the second — ' For ever, ever, ever fled 
away ! ' he paused after the two ' evers ' and gave the 
third as by an afterthought, thus adding greatly to the 
impressiveness. He especially admired — 

Night with her cold fingers 

Sprinkles moonbeams on the dim sea-waste. 

I said, ' That was Donegal Bay.' T. replied, ' I 
knew you took it direct from nature.' The pieces never 
seemed to me so good before or since. 

At dinner there was talk of Wordsworth, etc. 
T. spoke of George Meredith's poems, lately sent to 
him, author only twenty-three ; ' I thanked him for it 
and praised it — " Love in the Valley " best.' I said I 
also knew the book, and had bought it. T. gets enough 
poetry without buying : ' Thev send me nothing but 
poetry ! ' — ' As if you lived on jam,' I said. 

62 LONDON 1851 

T. — ' And such jam ! Yes, I did lately receive a 
prose book, Critical Strictures on Great Authors^ " a 
first hastily scribbled effusion," the writer said. There 
was this in it, " We exhort Tennyson to abandon the 
weeping willow with its fragile and earthward-tending 
twigs, and adopt the poplar, with its one Heaven- 
pointing finger." ' 'A pop'lar poet,' says I. 

Aft:er Mrs. Tennyson had gone upstairs, Patmore was 
announced. T. said, ' You didn't know Allingham was 
here,' and it rejoiced me to hear the familiar mention 
of my name. Over our port we talked of grave 
matters. T. said his belief rested on two things, a 

'Chief Intelligence and Immortality.' 'I could not 

eat my dinner without a belief in immortality. If I 
didn't believe in that, I'd go down immediately and jump 
off Richmond Bridge.' Then to me, rather shortly, 
* Why do you laugh } ' I murmured that there was 
something ludicrous in the image of his jumping off 
Richmond Bridge. ' Well,' he rejoined, ' in such a 
case I'd as soon make a comic end as a tragic' I 
went out to the garden, where were Mrs. Tennyson 
with Mrs. Patmore and her sister. Returning to the 
house there was tea, to which Tennyson came in, mutter- 
ing as he entered the room ' we exhort Tennyson.' 

I smiled. He said, ' What are you laughing at ? You 
don't know what I'm saying.' I said ' O yes, I do.' 

After tea he went upstairs and smoked, Patmore 
and I sitting with him : English and Irish character- 
istics ; the English an ill-mannered people. Edgar 
Poe : T. did not know ' The Raven,' and I recited 
some lines of it, to which T. listened attentively. New 
Forest : Tom Taylor's story of artist painting in the 
Forest suddenly seeing a little brown man, who had 
crept up unseen and clutched his bottle : ' Gin } ' says 
he ; ' Water,' says the painter, and the little brown man 
immediately disappeared. When we took leave T. 
came out to the gate and again shook hands with me. 
I said, ' Ask me to find a lodge for you on the West 

1853 LONDON 63 

coast of Ireland ' ; he, ' I should like it very much.' 
We walked to Richmond railway station, I feeling that 
a longing of my life had been fulfilled, and as if I had 
been familiar for years with this great and simple 

In 1853, being in London, from Ireland, for a short 
holiday, I wrote to Twickenham and had a kind reply 
under the Poet's hand asking me to come, and adding 

' As my wife is not very well you must " tread 

softly and speak low." ' So on Thursday the first of 
November I went from Waterloo Station to Richmond 
by rail, walked over Richmond Bridge — a fine day, 
autumnal woodlands mirrored in the river, struck a field- 
path on the left, and passing after a bit under some tall 
trees emerged through a little gate upon the grass-plot 
fronting Montpelier Terrace. As I came forward to 
Chapel House two other men approached the door, one 
of them something like T., and went in, not without a 
suspicious glance or two at me. 

I was soon in the Poet's much-longed-for presence, 
who shook hands in the most delightful, simple, friendly 
way, and asked me to stay and dine ; then said he had 
to go away for a little and handed me a book for my 
amusement. When he returned he was carrying in his 
arms his baby son, called ' Hallam ' ; the child had a 
ball to amuse him, which he liked to drop on the floor 
exclaiming, ' Tha ! ' or ' Da ! ' as it fell. Then T. took 
me up to wash my hands in the dressing-room, its 
window looking across several gardens, and a sunset 
sky shining through the trees. Returning to the 
drawing-room I found Mrs. Tennyson — sweet, pale, 
and kind ; Mr. Frederick Tennvson the eldest of the 
brothers, and Mr. Edward FitzGerald {Omar Khayyam), 
the two gentlemen whom I had encountered at the front 
door. Mr. FitzGerald (' Fitz '), an old and intimate 
friend, told droll stories with a quaint gravity, much 
amusing Mrs. Tennyson in particular. One was about 

64 LONDON 1855 

old Miss Edgeworth, whom he knew, and her turban. 
She used to take it off for coolness and resume it when 
visitors were announced. One day by some mischance 
a strange gentleman came into the room and found her 
writing with her almost bald pate plainly visible. 
Miss E. started up with the greatest agility seized her 
turban which lay close by and darted through an 
opposite door, whence she quickly reappeared with 
the decoration upon her head, but unluckily turned 
wrong side foremost. He also told us of Mr. Edge- 
worth's tombs of his three wives in the park at 
Edge worthsto wn . 

After dinner, poetry was the subject. Mr. Fitz- 
Gerald stood up for Pope's ' Homer,' and tried in vain 
to get T.'s approval. 

* You think it very wonderful surely ? * 

T. — ' I don't think I do.' 

' O yes, you do, Alfred ! ' 

T. — ' No, I do not.' 

Frederick T. set Schiller above Goethe, to which I 
strongly objected. A. T. said : ' If one of you is for 
Goethe and the other for Schiller, you'll never agree on 
poetry.' Moore was mentioned ; his skilful versifica- 
tion in fitting words to music. T. objected to the 
line — 

She is far from the land where her young hero sleeps. 

I did not find much the matter with it, but T, 
would not allow ' young hero ' to pass, the metre 
requiring a dactyl there : ' I wonder you don't see,' 
he said. ' Subaltern ' I suggested. ' Yes, that would 
do, as far as sound goes.' We turned to Campbell's 
* Soldier's Dream,' and T. objected to ' Our bugles sang 
truce,' both for the two ss and the accentuation. Of 
the two lines — 

And thousands had sunk on the ground overpowered. 
The weary to sleep and the wounded to die — 

1853 LONDON 65 

he said, ' Those are perfect.' Then we spoke of 
Shelley's accents, and I quoted — 

Of the snake's adamantine voluminousness, 

but without effect. I called Browning a vivid man, 
to which T. assented, adding, * How he did flourish 
about when he was here ! ' 

Then came on Dickens' cockney History of England^ 
Professor Aytoun (not praised), Thackeray's Book of 
Snobs, and Mr. Martin Tupper. 

I spilt some port on the cloth, and T,, with his 
usual imperturbability spread salt on it, remarking as 
he did so, ' I believe it never comes out ! ' Then we 
went upstairs to tea. I praised the view from the 
windows at the back. He said nothing would grow in 
his own garden but stones : ' I believe they grow. I 
pick up all I can see, and the next time I come there 
are just as many.' Then T., Frederick T., Edward F. 
and I to the study, where smoking and stories, some of 
an ammoniacal saltness. When I took leave, Mr. 
Frederick T. shook hands kindly, spite of our differences 
of opinion, and T. came with me to the front garden 

When I got to station the last train was gone, and 
1 walked into London by Kew and Turnham Green, 
followed all along Kew Garden wall by a possible 
footpad, whom I outstept. 

CHAPTER IV {continued) 


[From 1850 until 1853 Allingham held the post of 
Custom-House Officer in his native town, Ballyshannon. 
Under these dates the entries in his diaries were, for 
the most part, in the form of memoranda. No fuller 
record is forthcoming, the only account which he 
wrote out in detail being that of his two visits to 
Tennyson at Twickenham. The whole would doubtless 
have served as material for the autobiography which he 
began in later life. Wherever possible, extracts have 
been made. 

These quiet studious years were interrupted only by 
visits to London, and by shorter visits, from time to 
time, to Dublin and other places nearer home. Ailing- 
ham's reading was wide and incessant. Besides keeping 
abreast of current literature — in close touch with the 
output of his many contemporaries — he worked 
diligently at history, at Latin, at Greek ; and with 
these studies found time also to practise his violin. 
After the day's work and the evening's study he played 
it, not infrequently, into the next morning's hours. 
His quick appreciation of nature filled his note-book 
with almost daily impressions. No effect of sea or sky, 
mountain or lake, field or road, escaped him ; and to 
the record of these larger impressions was added that 
of a careful observation of the growth of leaves, of 
flowers, and of the doings of the birds. Now it was 



the sight of ' a beautiful greyhound,' the ' running of 
a rabbit,' or the flight of a bird that arrested him, and 
found a place among the memoranda he so faithfully 

For comradeship, for experience of people and of 
character, he was always ready. He never failed to 
perceive the human incidents by the way : in the routine 
of his daily life, or in the more varied opportunities of 
travel — in the train, on the coach, by the roadside. 

He was keenly ahve to the happenings in his own 
town, and his sympathy was for the difficulties and 
sufferings of the unfortunate no less than for the 
interests and pleasures of the well-to-do. Those in 
trouble were sure of his attention. He had that gift 
of thoughtfulness which means so much to the sufferer. 
In his heart the flower of kindness bloomed day by day 
for those who needed sympathy. 

He was often in the infirmary, to sit with a sick 
neighbour, and in the National School to see how it 
fared there with the children. To festive gatherings 
he often contributed by singing, and he never failed to 
attend the Ballyshannon Fairs. At one of these he 
records how he went into a * show ' where there was 
a gaming-table, and ' put on once,' — to see what it 
was like, as, later, he ' once ' attended high mass. 

His physical energy was as great as his mental 
activity : AUingham was a rider, a skater, a swimmer, 
and a great walker. Whenever he came upon young 
people playing games, jumping or running, he joined 
their sport, and was, as a rule, the winner. Even his 
scanty notes at this time show what pleasure it gave 
him to ' climb the rocks,' or row, or ' wade out bare- 
legged to the fishing boats.' 

To children his kindness was unfailing, and there 
are many entries, through these peaceful years, of his 
talks and games with the little ones about him. 

In 1850 AUingham published his volume of Poems. 
In the June of this year he was in London, for a few 

68 LONDON 1850 

days, the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Clough at 
University Hall, and went to Willis's Rooms to hear 
one of Thackeray's Lectures on the English Humorists. 
There he met Dickens, Forster, and Mrs. Carlyle, and 
a few days later he dined with Thackeray and Father 
Prout. Under this date he wrote, ' Thackeray hoaxes 
us by describing the night as lovely, bright moon, 
stars, etc. — is in fact raining, and cabs are sent for.' 

He was also at a performance given at the Hanover 
Square Rooms, in which Dickens played Boots, and 
Mrs. Gamp ' in brown bonnet and corkscrew curls.' 

During this time in London he saw a good deal of 
William and Mary Howitt, then living, in St. John's 
Wood, but his chief companions were Dante Gabriel 
Rossetti and Woolner, and their party frequently 
included William Rossetti, F. G, Stephens, Blanchard, 
and Hannay. 

He was often at the opera, and much of his time 
was given to the study of the pictures of the Pre- 
Raphaelite Brotherhood. 

In August he was at home again, attending to 
the Customs, and making constant notes of the 
beautiful aspects of Ballyshannon, especially of the 
sea. The following was written on October 2 1 of this 
year : — 

' Shaded avenue of vaulted foliage, pillared with 
slender stems. The trees, moved by the night-wind, 
mingled their rustling with the rustling of the unseen 
rivulet. In the foreground drooped, like a green 
mist, the long pale leafage of a large sallow. Risen 
behind the fluctuating shade there quivered through 
it, in threads and sparks of fire, the loveliness of the 
young golden moon ; and high above the highest dim 
tree-tops came out one star, trembling.' 

Through these years his reading included Homer, 
Plato, Plutarch, Meredith's Poems, Coleridge, Emerson, 
Gibbon, Dante, Swedenborg, Byron, Barnes, Bacon's 
Essays — he read and walked every evening. But in 

1854 COLERAINE 69 

spite of this rich company of minds he was sometimes 
' unhappy and discontented,' and regretted his want of 
'a regular system of education.' 

In September 1853 he left Ballyshannon, exchang- 
ing his post for the Customs Office at Coleraine ; but 
he found little to do in that town, and speaks of his 
work there as ' morose duty.' His daily interest was 
in reading, correspondence, and the writing of his 
poems. He made several friends during his short 
stay, and it was there the children (for whom he seems 
to have always had sweets in his pocket) used to sing, 
' here comes the lozenge man,' when they saw him 
coming. In October he went to Belfast to inquire 
about some literary post with a publisher ; it evidently 
came to nothing, for later in the same month he was 
in London, on leave, once more among his old friends, 
and constantly with Rossetti. 

Early in 1854 Allingham gave up the Customs, 
determined to try literary life in London. The 
following letters, to his father and sister, were written 
at this time.] 

Coleraine, Feb. 12, 1854. 

My dear Father — I have really and truly given up the 
Customs — as I mentioned yesterday in a letter to Catherine — 
and am to leave this on Thursday next for London via Belfast. 
Having decided on the step, it would have been useless to 
delay, especially as the opening of the London season is the 
very best time for entering on my new occupation. How 
precisely I am to be employed and what immediate income I 
may expect out of it I think it better to defer speaking of till 
I have made a beginning, but I will write you after my arrival 
in London, and regularly afterwards, and I hope to pay you a 
long visit in the latter part of the summer, and to see you 
enjoying plenty of the open air. The Premier and the Home 
Secretary are your seniors by half a dozen years each, and their 
posts are no idle ones. 

It is natural that my resolve should appear to you and others 
to be a rash one — an unusual one I know it is, but the circum- 
stances are unusual, and after giving the thing long consideration 

70 LONDON i8s4 

I feel that I am right — whether I shall succeed or not to the 
extent of my hopes. 

I neither expect, nor desire much, to make more money, 
for a year or two, than will support me respectably ; and mean- 
while I shall endeavour to make what use I can of the means 
afforded me by London to compensate for the defectiveness of 
my education. 

I know London pretty well — shall live regularly and quietly 
— have many and good friends there, and hope to strengthen 
and extend my acquaintance — and shall have opportunities, of 
various kinds, quite unattainable elsewhere. If I have good 
health, I see little risk in the enterprise, and incalculable 
advantages. At all events, I could not be satisfied without 
making the trial, and the step is irrevocably taken, so pray 
don't throw cold water on it, which could only serve to make 
me uncomfortable, without doing any good : and do not be 
uneasy about it. As I shall probably make some calls on the 
road I may not reach London before Monday or Tuesday 
next. I do not yet know the address of my lodgings, but 
letters sent, meanwhile, to the care of C. Patmore, Esq., 8 
[The] Grove, Kentish Town, London, will reach me. 

Give my best regards to all at home, and believe me, my 
dear Father, yours most sincerely, W. A., Jr. 


Wednesday, Feb. 22, 1854. 

My dear Catherine — I wrote to my father from Liver- 
pool, and also sent him a Daily News with a long Ode of 
mine called ' Peace and War,' which I hope has arrived. 

I came here yesterday to spend a day or two with my friend 
Mr. Gurney [not Coventry) Patmore, who is editor of the Derby 
Mercury^ and may not reach London before Friday. ... I 
dined with Mr. John Miller, a rich and well-known merchant, 
who is a great picture buyer, and an admirer of Millais, Hunt, 
etc. He has a fine family and is an agreeable acquaintance. 

But I also met a man of greater interest — Nathaniel 
Hawthorne. I called on him at his Consul's office, a dirty 
little busy place on the line of docks, and was very kindly 
received. He happened to have heard my name. He is about 
forty-six years old, middle sized, hair dark, forehead bald, features 
elegant though American, cheeks shaved, eyes dark. He is 
very bashful in manner, and speaks little and in a low tone. 

1854 LONDON 71 

He has not yet had time to visit London, but intends to do 
so some time in Spring, when I hope to see more of him. 
He looked oddly out of place in Liverpool. I w^ill virite again 
from London w^hen I arrive, and meanwhile remain, my dear 
Catherine, ever yours, W. A., Jr. 

London, 50 Southampton Row, 
Russell Sqr., March 8, 1854. 

My dear Father — I was very glad to receive your kind 
letters — also one, a day or two ago, from Catherine. I have 
got into lodgings down in London, in a central situation. I 
have at 1 7/- a week (which is thought low) a sitting-room and 
bedroom which are comfortable enough, and the street is a 
wide and good one, — but I am not sure that I am settled yet. 
As to my employment, it will be writing for newspapers and 
periodicals — of which more by and by ; but the subjects in 
general would not be of much interest in Ballyshannon. 

Whenever I do anything that I think you would like to see, 
I will take care to send it to you. There was a little Nursery 
Song of mine called ' Wishing ' in Household Words some weeks 
ago. Mr. Dickens is going to write a story called ' Hard 
Times,' as long as five monthly numbers, in Household IVords. 
He lives within two streets of me, but I have not yet seen 
him. I hear he writes all day and in the evening takes a long 
walk in the direction of Hampstead or Highgate. 

At first I cannot expect to do more than support myself, 
and must feel some degree of anxiety as to my prospects, but 
if my hopes of using properly the advantages of London be 
not disappointed I shall in time make a good position. This 
evening I bought 2 packets of flower seeds in Covent Garden 
Market and sent them by post, one to you and the other to 
Mr. Stubbs. As the packets are different, you can, if you like, 
exchange some of the seeds with each other. I hope to see 
some of them blowing in flowers in July. 

I have had a note from Mr. Hawthorne, which I send you, 
as you may like to see it. Pray return it at your leisure. . . . 
Whenever you want anything done in London, let me know, 
and I shall be most happy to attend to it, and with kindest 
regards to all at home I remain my dear Father, always 
affectionately yours, W. A., Jr. 

[Immediately upon coming to London he was at 
work for Household Words, The Athenaeum, and various 

72 LONDON 1854 

He walked and dined almost daily with Rossetti, 
and gave him, certainly, one sitting for his portrait ; 
but this was probably never finished — there is no 
further record of it in the diaries. 

During these months, also, he saw a great deal of 
Clough, of old Mr. and Mrs. Rossetti, and of Christina 

Everything promised success along the lines of pro- 
fessional journalism, but this profession was not con- 
genial to Allingham, and the following letter to his 
sister, in June of the same year, gives very definitely 
his reasons for preferring his former way of life.] 

London, i Queen Sqr., Bloomsbury, 
June 3, 1854. 

My dear Catherine — After many delays I began this note, 
as above, three days ago, and was interrupted by somebody 
coming in. I would have written to you long ago, but for the 
way I was circumstanced. I still like London, and find I could 
make quite as large an income by writing as I expected. I had 
yesterday a letter from an editor who heard of my intention 
of going away, offering me ;^ioo a year certain for doing 
something for him once a fortnight, and this is the yd regular 
engagement that has been offered to me, with others in pros- 
pect \ so that if I would ' take off my coat to it ' (which is 
what Thackeray advised), I could make at the very outset 
^300 or ;^400 a year. But to do this I must give myself up 
entirely to desultory and ephemeral writing, truckle to editors 
and people, and undergo countless anxieties and annoyances, 
which would not at all suit me ; and therefore I think it much 
better, all things considered, to return into quiet exile and 
make the best of that. ... I believe all my friends here are 
sorry I am going— though some, Carlyle in particular, think it 
a blessed escape for me out of the profession of literature. . . . 
On the ist of June I was at the Annual Meeting of Charity 
Children in St. Paul's — very pretty to see. Countless rows of 
boys and girls, each school with its own uniform, banners, 
beadles, etc., ranged under the dome, all rising and sitting down 
and singing together. After the service, it took them perhaps 
half an hour to march out, by two doors, all in their new 
clothes for the year. All the girls wear white mob caps and 


white aprons, but the gowns and ribbons of the different schools 
vary in colour, — the prettiest dresses, I think, were buft frocks, 
blue ribbons, and long yellow gloves. The beadles, in gold 
laced gowns and cocked hats of immense size, walked in front 
of each division, and were received with expressions of ad- 
miration (sometimes ironical) by the crowd outside- — -but the 
children seemed to make a pleasant impression on everybody. 
I felt proud to recognise the regiment of 'Oueen Sqr., Blooms- 
bury,' among this army of infantry. I have come to like 
my lodgings very much and they are admired by all my 
visitors ; being both quiet and lively — for though there is no 
thoroughfare for carriages at the upper end of the Square, it has 
a great many foot passengers and is full of children, having a 
fine plane tree, several poplars and hawthorns, and a grass plot 
in front of my three windows. I can go into the garden when 
I like, and have the gardener to touch his gold-laced hat to 
me, under the shadow of Queen Anne, whose statue and title 
adorn the Square. Part of one of the lines of street leading 
down from it to Holborn, and that thro' which I usually pass, 
is Kingsgate Street, — in which there is an Easy Shaving shop ; 
but Mr, Sweedlepipe seems to have given way to a successor, 
and I have not ventured to inquire if Mrs. Gamp were 
within. . . , 

Tell Edward ^ his fish is admirable, and admired by artists. 
Of course it is from a book ? Let him try some simple 
thing from nature.— Best regards to all, from yours my dear 
Catherine ever affectionately W. A., Jr. 

[Allingham's friends, on the whole, thought his 
decision to leave London wise. Carlyle, in particular, 
declared himself ' very glad to heaF~it,' and added 
characteristically, when saying good-bye, ' you'd have 
gone from bad to worse ; now you can do your day's 
work, and if you have anything to say or write, do so ; 
and if no man will have it, you can say, " well, thank 
God, I can do without selling it." ' 

Allingham obtained another appointment in the 
Customs at New Ross ; and on the eve of his departure 
thence he was busy with a last sitting to Munro for his 
bust (a cast of which is now in the possession of Mrs. 
Allingham), and going over his Day and Night Songs 

1 Allingham's hull-brother. 

74 NEW ROSS 1856 

with Leigh Hunt, Rossetti ' doing ivy leaves on Day 
and Night Songs' ^ 

A remark of Kingsley's, which evidently pleased 
Allingham, was recorded on one of these farewell days : 
it was the description of the Atlantic wave as ' a wall 
of water a mile long walking in and dashing itself into 
ten thousand shivers against the cliffs.' 

On July 5, he was at his new post, working at the 
Music Master^ and in the autumn of this year he wrote, 
among other poems, his well-known, ' Robin Redbreast.' 

He quickly made himself acquainted with the walks 
and excursions around Ross, and there are many little 
pen-and-ink sketches in his diary of the places which 
specially interested him. There is a pretty entry, this 
spring, of an accidental meeting with three little children 
in the rain, and of how they had to shelter together 
under the laurels, and saw the horse-chestnut buds 
bursting into leaf ; and of how they went home together 
under an umbrella, and a pair of clear eyes ' came peep- 
ing from under a little blue cloak.' 

In July this year he went to the Lakes for his 
holiday, and in November he was back in his old place 
at Ballyshannon, having effected another exchange with 
the Customs. Here reading went on as steadily as 
ever : he added astronomy to his other studies, and his 
notes show that he was often ' out late at night — to see 

Early in 1856 Allingham received the first number 
of the Oxford and Cambridge Magazine^ praising The 
Germ^ and writing of Rossetti's illustration to Ailing- 
ham's poem, ' The Maids of Elfin Mere,' as ' the best 
drawing that has ever appeared in illustration of a book.' 
His annual visit to London, this year, took place in 
May, and one of his first calls was with Arthur Hughes 
upon Rossetti, who, however, was not at home, but 

1 This refers to the design which Rossetti made for a cover to Ailing- 
ham's Day and Night Songs ; as it was not used, a reproduction of it is 
given on the opposite page. 

From a Design in Colour by D. G. Rossetti tor the Cover of 
Dav and Night Songs. 

1857 LONDON 75 

whose picture of Dante's Dream was discovered some- 
where in the room. It was put on the easel, and 
Allingham made a Httle note in his diary of the ' two 
lovely figures' and * rainbow of angels.'^ The visitors 
also came upon his picture called ' Found,' in one of 
the many stages of its progress, — 'The calf in cart and 
bit of wall,' Allingham writes — that calf which grew so 
many times into a cow during the thirty years in which 
the picture was being painted. 

He made many excursions, this month, with Rossetti 
and Miss Siddal, and he was always of the ' assemblage ' 
which gathered so frequently at Rossetti's rooms. 

One specially pleasant evening he recorded, when he 
dined at Mr. and Mrs. Tom Taylor's with Tennyson 
and Holman Hunt, and they sat under a walnut tree, 
while Mrs. Tom Taylor sang ' The Brook,' and Hunt 
and Tennyson talked about Jerusalem. 

In March 1857 Allingham seems to have been in 
Dublin, at a reception at the Castle, and at this time he 
mentions a visit in Belfast to Mr. McCracken, one of 
the first patrons of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. 

In July of this year he was in London, seeing a 
good deal of William Morris, at the Burne-Joneses, and 
also at Morris's own rooms in Red Lion Square, when 
the talk was of ' mediaevalism,' of ' beauty of form and 
colour,' and of the subjects in which Morris was the 
great master. 

During this holiday there were many delightful 
breakfast parties, which included Hughes, Whitley 
Stokes, Stephens, Boyce, Hannay, Patmore, Rossetti, 
Morris, and Burne-Jones. 

Carlyle he saw many times during this visit, and he 
records* at length a characteristic answer to a suggestion 
of his that Carlyle should write his autobiography : — 

'I would,' said Carlyle, 'as soon think of cutting 

1 Rossetti gave Allingham a pencil study for this picture, in which 
Allingham stood, for a few minutes, as model for profile and hand. It is 
now in Mrs. Allingham's possession. 

76 PARIS 1858 

my throat with my penknife when I get back home ! — 

the biographers, too ; if those gentlemen would let me 

■■ alone I should be much obliged to them. I would say, 

. as Shakespeare would say to Peter Cunningham, " Sweet 

I friend, for Jesus' sake forbear ! " ' 

This holiday was finished by AUingham at the Lakes, 
where he visited the Tennysons at Coniston. In the 
autumn there is, in his diary, mention of a letter in 
connection with the Professorship of English at Cork, 
which called forth a note of discontent : ' If I had [but] 
entered Queen's College four years ago,' he says — ' dis- 
satisfied and weary, twisted and deranged.' But the 
mood does not last long : quite soon again he writes, 
' I lie on the grass in the sun, the bay and green hills 
before me, and read Benvenuto Cellini's Autobiography.' 
The following is an extract from a note-book, of 
August 1858, of a meeting with Thackeray] : — 

Returning to Paris, after a short tour in Switzer- 
land and North Italy, I found Thackeray in the Hotel 
Bristol with his two daughters. He not well — often in 
bed till mid-day or later — struggling with (Pendennis), 
but in the evening usually recovering himself. 

I told him I had been with the Brownings (who were 
then in Paris, staying in the Rue Castiglioni, No. 6). 

' Browning was here this morning,' Thackeray said, 
j ' what spirits he has — almost too much for me in my 
I weak state. He almost blew me out of bed ! ' 

' A wonderful fellow, indeed ! ' 

' Yes, and he doesn't drink wine.' 

' He's already screwed up to concert pitch.' 

' Far above it. But I can't manage his poetry. 
What do you say ? ' 

(I spoke highly of it), 

' Well, you see, I want poetry to be musical, to run 

' So do I ' 

' Then that does for your friend B. ! ' 

(C illi<ini - ~( Uiiujiuiin 

1858 PARIS 77 

I spoke of Browning's other qualities as so splendid 
as to make him, as it were, a law in himself. But 
Thackeray only smiled and declined further discussion. 

' He has a good belief, in himself, at all events. I 
suppose he doesn't care whether people praise him 
or not.' 

' I think he does, very much.' 

' O does he ^ Then I'll say something about him 
in a number.' 

Thackeray took me to dine with him in the Palais 
Royal. He noticed with quiet enjoyment every little 
incident — beginning with the flourish with which our 
waiter set down the dishes of Ostend oysters. After 
tasting his wine Thackeray said, looking at me solemnly 
through his large spectacles, ' One's first glass of wine 
in the day is a great event.' 

That dinner was delightful. He talked to me with 
as much ease and familiarity as if I had been a favourite 

After dinner Thackeray proposed that we should go 
to the Palais Royal Theatre, but on issuing forth he 
changed his mind, and said we would call up Father 
Prout. ' His quarters are close by. You know him, 
don't you ? ' 

' Yes, I know that singing priest a little.' 

He was then Paris Correspondent of the Globe^ and 
his letters were much admired. It was said that the 
Globe had been obliged to buy a fount of Greek type 
by reason of Mahony's fondness for classical quotations. 

In a narrow street at the back of the Palais Royal, 
in a large lowish room on the ground floor, we found 
the learned and witty Padre, loosely arrayed, reclining in 
front of a book and a bottle of Burgundy. He greeted 
us well, but in a low voice and said, ' Evening boys, 
there's a young chap asleep there in the corner.' And 
in a kind of recess we noted something like bed-clothes. 
Thackeray was anxious to know who this might be, and 
Prout explained that it was a young Paddy from Cork 

78 WEIMAR i8s9 

or thereabouts, who had been on a lark in Paris and 
spent his money. Prout found him 'hard up,' and know- 
ing something of his friends in Ireland had taken him in 
to board and lodge, pending the arrival of succour. 

This piece of humanity was much to Thackeray's 
taste, as you may suppose. Thackeray said the 
Burgundy was ' too strong,' and had brandy and water 

We talked among other things of Dickens. I 
said how much a story of Dickens might be improved 
by a man of good taste with a pencil in his hand, by 
merely scoring out this and that. 

Says Thackeray (with an Irish brogue), ' Young man, 
you're threadin' on the tail o' me coat ! ' 

1 did not understand at first, 

' What you've just said applies very much to your 
humble servant's things.' 

I disclaimed this, and Prout said emphatically, ' Not 
a word too much in them ! ' 

[In 1859 Allingham was in London in September — 
* Three hours in D. G. R.'s rooms as of old ' — and the 
month following he was travelling in Holland and 

He spent three days at Weimar, and on October 22 
he writes in his diary] — 

To Goethe's House, with Schuchardt, who was his 
copyist for some years. 

The hall. 

The stairs (bronzed casts — one, a boy). 

The lobby. 

The reception rooms with glass cases, busts, drawers 
of medals, etc. Torso (of a boy .'*) at end. 

The working room, etc., low and plain. 

First, clothes-room, old boots of the anklejack sort, 
flannel shirts, dress coat, old hat (very big). Writing- 
room, desks, little glass Napoleon, memoranda of annual 
events : pasteboard pyramid ' for judging works of 

1862 LONDON 79 

art,' on the sides, each a different colour, the words, 
Verstandt, Vernunft, Sinnlichkeit, Phantasie. Cushion 
for leaning arms on. 

Bedroom, green arm-chair wherein he died, medicine- 
bottle. Lumber-room beyond. I open shutter of 

Book-room, narrow and dark, row of shelves in the 
centre. Carlyle's German Romances (uncut), with C.'s 
writing descriptive of sketches of his house in Scotland. 

Dine with Mr. Marshall at the summer Club House 
on the Hill, and have genial talk, then to his house ; he 
shows his poems in the Republic of Letters^ gives me 
Goethe's Letters of F. von Stein. 

[On November 8 he writes : ' at home in this old 
Ballyshannon,' and soon his 'Nightingale Valley' appears, 
and he mentions letters of thanks, for copies, from 
Rossetti, Patmore, Woolner, and Stokes. 

On December 28 is entered : 'My father's birth- 
day — seventy years.' 

Allingham remained in Ballyshannon through i860, 
1 861, 1862, but during the two earlier years he made 
very few entries in his diaries. 

In May i860 he was in London, and writes: ' In 
Carlyle's garden, some twenty yards by six ; ivy at the 
end. Three or four liliac bushes ; an ash stands on 
your left ; a little copper beech on your right gives just 
an umbrella to sit under when the sun is hot ; a vine 
or two on one wall, neighboured by a jasmine — one 
pear tree.' 

In September 1862 Allingham exchanged his post 
at Ballyshannon for one in the London Customs : but 
work at the docks was not congenial, and this second 
attempt to settle in London was again unsuccessful. 
He seems to have been ill and depressed during this 
time, and in October he was away on sick leave. 

The great pleasure of the year was his intimacy with 
the Burne-Joneses ; much of his time was spent with them. 

8o LONDON 1862 

This autumn, also, he often saw WiUiam Morris, 
in Red Lion Square, and went down several times with 
him to the Red House. He writes of Mrs. Morris — 
' tall, wonderful.' 

There are many pleasant pictures of the Burne- 
Joneses — ' Edward drawing, Mrs, Edward cutting out 
shoes for Pip ' ; or again, ' Mrs. Edward sings old 
ballads and Rossetti's songs.' With them he also 
frequently met Swinburne, Webb, and Faulkner. One 
day he records, more fully, an evening with Rossetti, 
' lying on the grass in Lincoln's Inn Fields, and talking 
with him of Christina's poems ; ' and an account of a 
visit to the Carlyles on August 10 of this year, is 
given here at length : — ] 

Being up from Ballyshannon for a holiday, I was 
at Cheyne Row to-day. Mrs. Carlyle received me with 
great kindness. I had a new hat of some shape that 
amused her ; she tried it on. Spoke of Thackeray's 
new house, his dinners. Poodle Byng, T.'s daughters. 
Carlyle has grayer hair than when I last saw him, and 
patches of white in whisker. He spoke of competi- 
tive examinations. 

National Portrait Gallery — Lord Brougham. The 
CommiTfee' wanted to put in Brougham's portrait, the 
man still living, contrary to rule. C. opposed, and 
added that when Brougham did die he would speedily 
be forgotten. Lord Stanhope, Chairman, said with 
polite surprise, ' Oh, a very remarkable man, surely — 
great statesman, great orator!' 'No' (C. persisted), 
' Brougham had done nothing worth remembering 
particularly ; and at all events the rules of the Gallery, 
etc.,' and gained his point. 

It was on this occasion that C. noticed Dizzy, who 
was present as a member of the Committee, looking at 
him in a noticeable way. ' He took no part in the 
discussion,' C. said, ' but I could see that he was looking 
at me with a face of brotherly recognition — a wholly 
sympathetic expression.' C. used often to refer to this 


brotherly look of Dizzy (which, however, may not have 
meant very much !) 'I found this look in his face — 
although I had more than once or twice said hard things 
of him publicly. I saw he entirely agreed with me as 
to Brougham.' 

It gave C. a little leaning to Dizzy when he thought 
of it, tho' it did not change his opinion that D.'s 
success was a scandal and shame for England. 

[AUingham was back in Ballyshannon in December, 
but there are no entries in his diary until March 1863, 
when he was again in London arranging for another 
exchange in the Customs. He was advised to take 
Lymington, in Hampshire ; and when established there 
his diaries are once more carefully kept. 

The story continues in his own words.] 



Early in 1863 fortune not choice fixed my abode 
at Lymington in Hampshire. ' You will be near 
Tennyson,' said Carlyle, when I was taking leave of 
him. ' I doubt if 1 shall see him,' I replied, dis- 
heartened by a second failure to settle in London, and 
disinclined for even the best company. ' Yes, yes,' 
said C, ' you are sure to come together.' 

I went to Lymington on Friday the 8th of May, 
pleasant little old Town on its green hill, looking across 
to the Isle of Wight some five miles away, to which a 
steam -boat plied three or four times daily. I was 
Lymington's Custom-House Officer, the only one, my 
office being a small first-floor room over the Coastguard 
Station, looking upon the little Harbour, (muddy at low 
water, occupied chiefly by pleasure-yachts) and the woods 
of Walhampton beyond. A little higher up a Ferry-Boat 
rowed by a big man in a jersey, a Blue Giant, kept 
crossing to and fro, and higher still was a Toll-Bridge, 
to which the Boldre Water or Lymington River ran 
down in its green valley, a quiet rural stream, from the 
oaks, beeches, and brackens of the New Forest. 

Depressed tho' I was, I felt a great deliciousness 
in the quiet green lanes and hedges, thickets, woods 
and distances ; and the evening after my arrival, stand- 
ing at the field gate close to the Town, I heard four 


1863 LYMINGTON 83 

On Wednesday I crossed the Solent in our Steam-boat 
for the first time, and stood in Yarmouth, a quaint 
little old place, with its little waterside castle, Governor's 
House (now the George Inn), and the arms of Henry 
the Eighth carved in stone on a weedy wall, return- 
ing by the last boat. I talked with the ' Engineer ' of 
the Steam-boat, a pleasant and intelligent young man. 
We spoke a little of Tennyson, whom he knew well 
by sight. I asked had he read any of the Bard's 
writings ? and he replied quite simply and modestly 
that he could not understand Mr. Tennyson's poetry, 
he saw it was intended for people of higher education 
than himself. Mr. T., he said, had smoked a pipe 
with George (the steward) in crossing. 

The young man, native of Lymington, who is 
going to London by exchange with me, with money 
advantage in his favour, seems well fitted for town life. 
When I praised the landscape he remarked that he 
was ' No judge of beauty,' and to my question as we 
walked towards his house — ' Do the nightingales sing 
down this way .'' ' he answered quietly, ' Very likely 
they do, I shouldn't know a nightingale if I heard it.' 
He was not in the least contemptuous, but absolutely 
obtuse on such matters, and wished, no doubt, to let 
me know that it was useless to bring them forward in 
his company. One sees the practical advantage of 
variety of character. This young man won't mind 
Thames Street and the barrel organs. 

May 12-13. — Lymington Pleasure Fair. Booths in 
the streets with toys and sweets, noise and clatter. Shows 
— some monkeys and a wild boar, a ' Zulu Caffir ' ; fat 
woman (leaving her baby behind the scenes) does 
conjuring tricks — Dancing-booth — Shooting-galleries. 
Gypsies — black-eyed girls in tawdry bright attire, brown 
old witches, gypsy young man lithe and tall, wonder- 
fully handsome animal, a black panther — and about 
as trustworthy ^ How Oriental these people keep I 
The English rustic, getting drunk, bellows discordant 

84 LYMINGTON 1863 

songs, tumbles down and snores, the Irishman quarrels 
and strikes. Perhaps the kind of drink has something 
to do with it. Pothouse beer is bad, but raw public- 
house whisky is a frightful potation. What a country 
is Ireland ! her chief manufacture is Calamity Water ^ 
a name too of her own devisal. 

Saturday^ May 23. — Hear of the death of my half- 
brother Thomas at Raphoe Royal School, where he was 
assistant-master — honest and diligent, with a tenacious 
memory. He was successful at Dublin University — 
showed no original faculty. 

Wednesday^ June 24 — Heard Spurgeon preach in a 
tent in a field beside the town. ' If any man thirst, 
etc,' anecdotes — prayer — good lungs. Rain — Spurgeon 
put on his hat, many opened umbrellas. After the 
service, people came to shake hands with him, and I drew 
near. He said, ' I must be gone. I trust God has given 
us some souls this evening,' I walked behind him ; he 
has a big body, short legs, flat feet : Anglo-Saxon ? — 
large brain, no doubt. His mind a mystery to me, 
but not interesting. 

Sunday^ June 28. — In the evening walked sadly along 
the shore of the Solent eastwards by Pylewell — return- 
ing, brought home a glow-worm and put it in a white 
lily, through which it shone. 

It was not till Friday the 3rd of July that I first saw 
Freshwater. I crossed by the evening boat, walked over 
the bridge, and after two or three miles of beautiful 
green-sided roads, spoilt here and there by Forts, 
reached the enchanted realm of Farringford, but coast- 
ing outside could not see the house and would not 
of course enter any gate. In the dusk I saw the 
' noble Down ' rising up, its Beacon against the sky, 
then got to the shore and the sea and white clifi^s. I 
was thinking all the while of Tennyson, and felt very 
doleful. Yet I had not the faintest thought of pre- 
senting myself to him or wish, even, to meet him by 
chance on his return (he was from home at this time). 

1863 LYMINGTON 85 

I have lost the faith I used to have in people's wishing to 
see me — perhaps it is merely one of the signs that youth 
has passed away. But I feel a natural bond to him (I 
say it in humility) and to a very few others, and only 
in their company am better contented than to be with 
nature and books. With these persons I feel truly 
humble, yet at the same time easy. I understand and 
am understood, with words or without words. It is not 
fame that attracts me, it disgusts me rather. Fame 
has cooled many friendships for me, never made or 
increased one. Fame is a thing of the ' World,' and 
the ' World ' is a dreadful separator. 

In the late summer dusk I returned through charm- 
ing narrow leafy roads — the Moon rose like a surprise. 

At Lymington in these first months I was busy 
doing Laurence Bloomfield, the last five chapters, 
which were coming out month by month in Fraser s 
Magazine. After this ' The Ballad Book ' for Mac- 
millan occupied the best part of my leisure time — 
much reading, comparing, selecting and copying of 
Ballads, to perhaps little result. 

Monday^ July 6. — At Southampton Dock Station 
my eye was caught by a middle-sized but singularly 
well-knit figure of a man, strong, light, easy of move- 
ment, almost Greek in his poses but altogether natural 
and unconscious. He turned his head and who was it 
but Tom Sayers in a white hat, with a bunch of charms 
to his watch-chain. The high-shouldered pugilist such 
as Leech draws is not the genuine article. Sayers has 
rather falling shoulders though wide and muscular, so 
has Heenan, and Tom King. Ease and freedom of 
movement characterises them all, especially Sayers. 
They doubtless much enjoy life in their way, so long 
as they keep within tolerable bounds, and the fighting 
itself is a great animal pleasure. 

Tuesday., Wednesday., 7-8. — Wandered in the New 
Forest — view of the wide woodland from Emery Down. 
Slept at the Crown, Lyndhurst — Church, window de- 


signed by Jones ; Fresco, half done, of the ' Foolish 
Virgins ' by Leighton. Lymington — a travelling circus 
in the cricket-field, where I see Tom Sayers spar with 
' Young Brooks ' : noticeable, how slight the movements 
Tom made to avoid a blow, moving his head some- 
times so little, that his antagonist's glove rippled up 
Tom's short hair — then Tom's hand went in like a 
flash of lightning. 

Saturday^ July 11. — Copy and send off Laurence 
Bloomjield^ Chapter X,, to Froude. Train to South- 
ampton, young Parson with pleasant voice arguing with 
old working man, who said he cared no more for a clergy- 
man than for a chimney sweep, and scolded bishops. 

Tuesday^ August 4. — Mrs, Arthur Clough, the poet's 
widow, who had written to let me know, reached 
Lymington Terminus with her three children, also her 
sister Mrs. Coltman and her children, where I met 
them, and we crossed over to Yarmouth together, a 
roughish passage. They went on to Freshwater to a 
house they had taken there ; I returned to Lymington. 

August 10. — A very kind letter from Charles 
Kingsley, quite unsought for, offering me introductions 
to ' Sam St. Barbe,' (the banker here) and Captain 
Mildmay. Next day a letter from Rossetti, complain- 
ing of being ' restless,' and asking if he shall come and 
pay me a visit. I reply ' Yes,' but he finds it mighty 
hard to make the start, and puts off time after time, 
coming at last. 

August 16. — Stick at L. Bloonifield, Chapter XL, 
all day, zndfms/i. 

Saturday^ August 29. — Came to Freshwater and 
walked with Mrs. Clough and Mrs. Coltman on Afton 
Down ; slept at the Albion Hotel, amid a noise of 
waves. The Landlady a big dreadful woman with 
fiery face. Next morning breakfasted at Mrs. Clough's. 
They all went to Church. I was left at home with 
Clough's letters and American diary, which or a 
selection from them Mrs. C. thinks of publishing. 

1863 LYMINGTON 87 

After an early dinner, we walked to Farringford and 
found that the family were expected in about ten days. 
Mr. Tennyson was ill (the woman said), and coming to 
London from Harrogate. Mrs. Clough being an 
intimate, we were admitted to the living rooms, and 
saw plenty of books on shelves and tables, including 
numerous presentation volumes of poetry, and the new 
magazines — among which I noted with some satisfaction 
Fraser with the new chapter of Laurence Bloomfield 
(so lately teasing me in MS.). 

Monday^ September 14. — Note from Mrs. Clough, 
from Bournemouth — ' Mrs. Cameron will be glad 
to see you at lunch, to meet Mr, Henry Taylor.' 
Mrs. Clough was returning to the island to-day, and I 
joined her with Mr. and Mrs. Coltman on the 3 o'clock 
steamer. The Tennysons on board. T. and I just 
spoke a few words, and then I went forward with 
Mrs. Clough and kept out of his way. Returned to 

Wednesday ^ September 16. — Southampton : Heard 
Cardinal Wiseman lecture on ' Self-culture ' at the 
Hartley Institute. An Irish priest, he, in general 
appearance ; face like a shrewish old woman in 
spectacles ; voice tuneless, accent a little mincing. 
The substance of the lecture commonplace, the style 
tawdry and paltry. 

Saturday^ October 3. — Cross by 3 o'clock Boat, 
invited to spend Sunday at Mrs. Clough's. Rainy and 
roughish. The Coltmans are gone. Mrs. Clough 
tells me I am invited to go to the Tennysons with 
her to-night. (Hurrah !) We drove to Farringford, 
picking up on the way Mr. Pollock (afterwards Sir 
F. P.) and his son, a youth in spectacles. Drawing- 
room, tea, Mrs. Tennyson in white, I can some- 
times scarcely hear her low tones. Mrs. Cameron, 
dark, short, sharp-eyed, one hears very distinctly. I 
wandered to the book-table, where Tennyson joined 
me. He praised Worsley's Odyssey. In a book of 


Latin versions from his own poetry he found some 
sHps in Lord Lyttleton's Latin — ' Cytherea Venus,' 
etc. ' Did I find Lymington very dull ? ' I told him 
that since coming there I had heard Cardinal Wiseman 
lecture (on ' Self-culture '), Spurgeon preach, and seen 
Tom Sayers spar. ' More than I have,' he remarked. 
In taking leave he said, ' Come to-morrow ! ' 

Sunday^ October 4. — In the forenoon I walk over 
alone to Farringford ; find first Mrs. T., the two boys, 
and their tutor, Mr. Butterfield, fair-haired, modest- 
mannered. T. at luncheon : ' John Wilson's Life — 
leave such things alone ! they're done for money.' — 
' Entozoa — germs were mingled in a convict's food, 
for experiment ; after his death the parasites were 
found stuck all over him inside. Fancy one feeding 
on your brain ! ' — ' What do we know of the feelings 
of insects ? nothing. They may feel more pain than 
we.' I think not. 

T. takes me upstairs to his ' den ' on the top-story, 
and higher, up a ladder, to the leads. He often comes 
up here a-night to look at the heavens. One night he 
was watching shooting-stars and tumbled through the 
hatchway, falling on the floor below, a height of at 
least ten feet I should say. The ladder probably broke 
his fall and he was not hurt. I quoted ' A certain star 
shot madly from his sphere.' 

T. — -' I've never heard any Sea-Maid's music in Fresh- 
water Bay, but I saw an old lady swimming one day.' 

The view of sea and land is delectable, stretching 
northward across the Solent up into the New Forest. 
Then we went down and walked about the grounds, 
looking at a cedar, a huge fern, an Irish yew. The 
dark yew in Maud ' sighing for Lebanon ' he got at 
Swainston, — Sir John Simeon's. In one place are some 
little arches half-covered with ivy, which I pretend to 
believe are meant for mock ruins. This T. repudiates. 
He paused at a weed of goatsbeard, saying, ' It shuts 
up at three.' Then we went down the garden, past a 

,863 LYMINGTON 89 

large tangled fig-tree growing in the open — ' It's like 
a breaking wave,' says I. ' Not in the least,' says he. 
Such contradictions, from him, are noway disagreeable : 
and so to the farmyard. 

' Have you a particular feeling about a farmyard ^ ' 
he asked, ' a special delight in it .'' I have. The first 
time I read Shakespeare was in a haystack. — Othello — 
I said, '* This man's overrated." Boys can't understand 
Shakespeare, nor women.' We spoke a little of the 
Shakespeare ' Ter-Centenary ' next year. 

* Most people pronounce "Arbtitus" wrong, with 
the second syllable long. Clematis, too, which should 
be Cle-mStis.' 

In the porch, or somewhere near it, I noticed a dusty 
phial hanging with some dried brown stuff in it. ' It's 
a Lar,' he said, with a twinkle in his eyes. ' And what 
else is it ? ' I asked. ' An old bottle of Ipecacuanha.' 
I thought the woodwork of the windows a rather crude 
green : ' I don't know why you shouldn't like it,' he 
said. We looked at the great magnolia stretching up 
to the roof, then into the hall and saw some fossils. 
' Man is so small ! ' he said, ' but a fly on the wheel.' 
Mrs. Clough was in the house and she and I now 
departed, T. coming with us as far as the little south 
postern opening on to the lane, afraid to go further. 
He said he was one day pursued full cry along the road 
by two fat women and sixteen children ! Another day 
he saw a man's face, who had climbed on the outside 
fence and was looking over into the garden : ' I said to 
him, " It isn't at all pretty of you to be peeping 
there! You'd better come down" — and he did.' 
' Was he like an educated man } ' ' Yes — or half- 
educated.' In parting he said to me, ' We shall see 
you sometimes .? ' — which gladdened me. 

Mrs. Clough and I dined at Mrs. Cameron's. 

Sunday, October 11. — Walk, Boldre, Hay ward Mill, 
Common. Gypsies — old woman asks me to look at 
her son who is very ill in waggon. I see him, lying 

90 LYMINGTON 1863 

pale with heavy black eyes and tangled hair, speechless, 
has ' lumps in his throat' she says — quinsy ? I promise 
to send some one to him if I can. Call on Marshall, 
the relieving officer, — ' at church,' leave a letter for him 
about the sick gypsy. 

Monday^ October 12. — Finish twelfth and last chapter 
of Bloomfield and post it. 

Saturday^ October 17. — Fine evening. New Forest. 
Holmsley, Wilverly Post, heath and woods in front, 
russet gold ; rest by a rivulet, thick beech woods, 
cottage — the woman says it is unhealthy and very 
lonesome — 

Under the shade of melancholy boughs. 

Two woodpeckers, green as parroquets. The setting 
sun, the fiery ferns, the gold beechen-leaves. Lynd- 
hurst, bed at Crown. 

Sunday^ October 18. — To Rufus's Stone, moorlands 
under heavy sky, thick embossment of russet golden 
beech-woods filling the vales, blue distance — showers. 

How many days of my life I pass without a word of 
conversation. But am I not as well off as I deserve to be.'' 

O days of youthful gladness ! 

When I, a happy fool, 
Thought failure, sickness, sadness, 

Th' exception, not the rule. 

Monday^ October 19. — News of the gypsy. * Getting 
better ; lump broke.' Write to Southampton paper 
against cutting down trees in ' the Ditches ' (old moat). 

Thursday^ October 22. — I receive proof from i^r/^j^r'i^ 
Mag. of the twelfth and last chapter of L. Bloom- 
field. Eight of the chapters I have written month by 
month (missing one month) for the magazine. So fate 
would have it. It's not properly compacted as to plan, 
and never will be now. But with indefinite time at 
command I should most probably, as so often before, 
have tried a dozen different shapes and ended by throw- 
ing the thing aside. It has good work in it here and 

1863 LYMINGTON 91 

A story in 5000 lines, - 

Where Homer's epic fervour shines. 

Philosophy like Plato's — 
Alas, I sing of Paddies, Priests, 
And Pigs, those unromantic beasts, 

Policemen and Potatoes ! 

Friday^ October 23. — Very fine ; in the New Forest. 
Holmsley — path to Burley, field -lane fern -banked, 
delightful. Hamlet on its gorsev common, a big oak 
among the hollies. Sat down and read Woolner's 
Beautiful Lady which the post brought me to-day from 
the author. Tender and sweet. Well tastes poetry 
thus on a solitary ramble. I remember distinctly every 
breathing of the verses which were in the first number 
of The Germ, nearly fourteen years ago. Real love of 
nature and delicate truth of touch ; with the quaint 
guild-mark, so to speak, of the P. R. B. (I can't bear to 
be verbally quaint myself, yet often like it in another). 

I recollect my lady in a wood. 

Keeping her breath and peering — (firm she stood 

Her slim shape balanced on tip-toe — ) 

Into a nest which lay below. 

Leaves shadowing her brow. 

the breeze 
Lifts gold from leaf to leaf, as these 
Ash-saplings move at ease. 

Thackeray, I recollect, was much touched by Woolner's 
poem, and by Hunt's etching to it of the Lover press- 
ing his face down upon the new-made grave-mound. 
But hopeless grief is too sad a subject for Art, save to 
the Young. 

Passing a Keeper's lodge, came to the ' Twelve 
Apostles,' old oaks, most of them rugged hollow 
pillars with a few living branches. Sunset light, 
lonely road running through great beech-woods ; 
double-dyed with sunset gold : I picture myself attacked 
by ruffians, with various denouments. Such things 
never do happen in the Forest. The gypsies only beg, 
and perhaps filch. Pass Alum Green, the moon rising 


over the hamlet, and strike a dampish forest-path to 
Brockenhurst road, where I enter a wayside inn, and 
sit comfortably by a great peat-fire, two antlers above 
the chimney, drinking beer and reading in Woolner's 
book. Home by rail about 8, 

I go on studying Old Ballads — (no original lyrics 
coming now, alas !) Custom-house daily. Yachts, 
steamers, pensioners, accounts, coastguard. Periodical 
visits to Pitt's Deep, Buckler's Hard, Keyhaven, and 
Hurst Castle, walking or riding. Boat and punt — 
sailing, etc. Measuring vessels is the most troublesome 
duty, boarding yachts and examining their stores the 
most disagreeable. 

Sunday^ December 13. — Walk from Lymington to 
Christchurch, by cliffs and beach, — mean, straggling 
little Town among flat watery fields, by a broad muddy 
estuary. It has a huge and striking old gray Church, 
part Norman, much decayed, and full of coughs and 
rheumatisms for the worshippers, being very unfit for 
the Protestant service. At evening service with a 
regulation sermon. After which I found, at the east 
end under a great window, the cenotaph to Shelley and 
Mary, at which I stood looking while the Choir 
practised their Christmas anthem in the empty dim- 
lighted building. 

The monument is of white marble, a woman support- 
ing a dead man, life size, very like a Pieta : — odd 
jumble of ideas. Bed at Newlyn's Hotel. Stars, 
humming wind, frost .? 

Next morning, pretty view from a bridge of the 
great old Church, ivied ruin and large willow beside it — 
everything else very ugly. By train through flooded 
meadows to Ringwood, and on to Lymington. ' Good- 
man Dodd,' etc. — wrote to my Father. 

This man spreads himself out, gives ear to the foolish public, 
That man shuts himself in, gives ear to a foolish clique ; 
Foolish the public, the cliques, the ignorant ones and the knowing, 
Wise the soul of a man who lets all go quietly by. 


Sunday^ December 20. — I lunched at Farringford. 
We all helped in wheeling Mrs. Tennyson to the top 
of High Down. Then A. T., the Tutor and myself 
walked to Totland's Bay, the talk all upon Classic 
Metres, of which he is full at present. I am invited 
for Christmas. 

Tuesday, December 22. — Feel out of sorts and as it 
were stupefied ; write to Mrs. Tennyson declining the 
Christmas invitation, which I was so glad to have ! On 
the second day after, came a very kind note from 
Mrs. T. renewing the invitation, and on the 26th I 
went to Farringford. The post brought me a gift of 
a purse from Mrs. Clough, 

Saturday, December 16. — At Yarmouth I find Mrs. 
Cameron shopping, who gives me a seat in her carriage, 
and tells me she has a copy of Henry Taylor's 
Works for me as a Christmas Box, In a subsequent 
examination which she put me through as to my 
opinion of H. T.'s poetry I fear my answering fell 
decidedly below her expectation, for the Christmas Box 
was never given, nor did either of us mention it 

At Farringford I find F. T. Palgrave. Tennyson, 
he, and I walk up High Down. 

Dinner at six, the usual immediate move (with the 
wine) to Drawing-room, and talk all about Classic 
Metres, to which I naturally have little to contribute, 
nor can I see that the discussion throws much if any 
light on English metrical effects. 

Farringford, Sunday, December 27. — A, T. comes 
in to breakfast without greeting, which is sometimes his 
way. I play at football with the two Boys. (Hallam 
is about eleven, Lionel about nine.) Then walk with 
A. T., Palgrave, H. and L. along High Down to the 
Needles. Lionel talks to me ; he is odd, shy, sweet, 
and, as his mother says, daimonisch. Hallam has 
something of a shrewd satirical turn, but with great 
good nature. To the cliff edge, then returning we 


creep up long slopes of down and rest at the Beacon. 
Thistles and other growths crouch into the sward 
from the fierce sea-winds. I quote ' a wrinkle of the 
monstrous hill.' We talk of 'Christabel.' Race down, 
I get first to the stile. After dinner more talk of 
' Classic Metres ' ; in the drawing-room, T. standing 
on the hearth-rug repeated with emphasis (perhaps 
apropos of metres) the following lines, in the following 
way : — 

Higgledy — piggledy, silver and gold, 

There's — {ifs nothing very dreadful !) 

There's a louse on my back 

Seven years old. 

He inches, he pinches. 

In every part, 

And if I could catch him 

I'd tearr out his kearrt ! 

The last line he gave with tragic fury. Prose often 
runs into rhyme. T. imitated the waiter in some 
old-fashioned tavern calling down to the kitchen — 
' Three gravies, two mocks, and a pea ' ! (soup under- 
stood). On ' pea ' he raised the tone and prolonged it 
very comically. 

Farringford^ December 28. — A. T., Palgrave and I 
walk to Alum Bay and look at the coloured clifFs, 
smeary in effect, like something spilt. A. T. reproves 
P. for talking so fast and saying ' of — of — of — of,' etc. 
He also corrects me for my pronunciation (or so he 
asserts) of ' dew.' ' There's no Jew on the grass ! ' 
says he — ' there may be dew^ but that's quite another 
thing.' He quotes Tom Moore's ' delicious night,' 
etc. (four lines), with a little grunt of disapprobation at 
the end. Home at four. T. goes to have his hot 
bath. I revise Laurence Bloomfield (which Macmiilan 
is printing) in the boys' room. 

At dinner : Mr. and Mrs. Bradley of Marlborough, 
Mr. and Mrs. Butler of Harrow. 

In the drawing-room A. T., P., and the two Bs. all 
on ' Classic Metres.' T. setting the schoolmasters right 

1863 LYMINGTON 95 

more than once, I noticed. I asked Mr. Bradley after- 
wards, when he called on me at Lymington, did he 
think he could read one — any one — of Horace's Odes 
as it was intended to be read ? He said he was sure he 
could «o/. He has brought into use at Marlborough 
the ' new ' pronunciation (Italian vowel sounds K for 
C, etc.), which, he says, puzzles himself much more than 
the boys. 1 like him much, and wish he were not a 
Parson or that Parsonism were a different kind of thing. 
I had the ladies all to myself, and we discoursed pro- 
foundly on ' poets and practical people,' ' benevolence 
true and false,' ' the gulf between certain people and 
others,' etc. Mrs. T. confessed herself tired of hearing 
about ' Classic Metres.' The company gone, T., P. and 
I went to Palgrave's room, where the poet read to us the 
' Vision of Sin,' the ' Sea Fairies,' and part of the ' Lotos 
Eaters,' — a rich and solemn music, but not at all heavy. 
He will not admit that any one save himself can read 
aloud his poems properly. He suffered me to try a 
passage in the ' Lotos Eaters ' and said ' You do it better 
than most people,' then read it himself and went on 
some way further. Thus I got from him viva voce 
part of a poem which has always seemed to me among 
his most characteristic works. 

December 29. — After breakfast I took leave of 
Mrs. Tennyson and the boys. P. civilly invites me to 
his house at York Gate. When I went to T.'s room he 
said, ' Come whenever you like,' and as I went out 
by the garden he came after me and saw me through 
the gate. Truly friendly — a delightful visit ! I walked 
to Yarmouth in happy mood and crossed to Lymington 
on the steam-boat. 

Wednesday^ December 30. — Walked to Pitt's Deep 
and visited the Coastguard Station ; returned at dusk, 
dirty roads, starry sky. Be content : what folly in a 
poor man to wish for an easy life and at the same time 
for much that he could only get by hard work. 



I HAVE been an ' Official ' all my life, without the least 
turn for it. I never could attain a true official manner^ 
which is highly artificial and handles trifles with 
ludicrously disproportionate gravity. True that ordi- 
nary men are thus kept in order and the dull work of 
the world got through : but for my own part I always 
get back to the question, is it really necessary that 
men should consume so much of their bodily and 
mental energies in the machinery of civilised life ^. The 
world seems to me to do much of its toil for that which 
is not in any sense bread. Again, does not the latent 
feeling that much of their striving is to no purpose 
tend to infuse large quantities of sham into men's work ? 
In the Government offices, of which I know something 
by experience, I believe the clerks could do all they 
really do in half the allotted time, and, moreover, that 
much of their work when done is itself useless. 

January 16, 1864. — Letter from Mrs. Tennyson, 
asks me if I know of a house near Lymington that 
would suit her Father and Sister (Mrs. Weld). I go to 
the house-agents. Aubrey House might do. 

January 17. — At Southampton. Arrival of the 
Poonah P. & O. steam-ship. People returning from 
India, greetings. Ayah on deck. A single one of 
these brown slender women with black eyes and 
undulatory movements (they must have soft bones), 



in muslin and gold ornaments, makes all Hindustan 
real. How cold she must find this weather. Mail-bags 
landed, 340 in number. 

February 27. — -Wrote to the Papers proposing to 
name the new bridge at Blackfriars ' Shakespeare 
Bridge,' — with statues if they Hke. The Blackfriars and 
the Globe Theatres stood near this place. A bridge is 
the best place in London for statues. In vain. The 
Times said it was not an English custom to give the 
names of writers to our streets or public places. 
Excellent argument. Ballad : ' The Abbot of Inis- 

March i . — Going on with Ballad Book. ' Grunsey 
and Dodd ' appears in Macmillans Magazine this month. 

Tuesday y March 22. — Dry haze, groaning east wind, 
headache. I now believe the atmosphere with its 
changes has much more to do with health and spirits 
than I used to think possible. As we go on we find 
that many ' old-fashioned notions ' have a good deal in 
them. But we had not much east wind at Bally- 
shannon. Poem : ' Emily.' 

24 to 28. — At Farringford, for an Easter holiday. 
Professor Jowett was staying at a neighbouring house 
with two Oxford pupils, and came in to Tennyson's 
every day. One day T., J., and myself on the shore, 
throwing pebbles into the sea. Alas, I fear I have not 
set down anything of the conversations. This is 
usually the way when there is too much. 

A man who keeps a diary pays 
Due toll to many tedious days ; 
But life becomes eventful — then 
His busy hand forgets the pen. 
Most books, indeed, are records less 
Of fulness than of emptiness. 

I recall an interesting talk with Professor Jowett at 
Freshwater, one night that I walked with him from 
Tennyson's to his lodging at the Terrace. The con- 
versation turned to the subject of conventionalities, and 


98 ROMSEY 1864 

I urged how lamentable it was to see men, and, especi- 
ally, distinguished men, accepting in public, or even 
actively supporting ideas which they abjured in their 
own minds. This was my hobby and I rode it at a pace 
that the Professor was probably little accustomed to, 
yet he listened and answered not only with patience but 
apparent interest, and when we arrived at his door 
invited me, somewhat to my surprise, to come in and 
continue the conversation, T remember, in a room 
dimly lighted with one candle. He seemed to agree with 
me in the main, but argued to the effect that by an 
open and unguarded non-conformity a man might ruin 
his career and lose all influence and authority. I said 
in my usual impulsive style — ' Oh, he would find the 
apparent obstacles to be only shadows on his road.' 
To which J. replied gently, but with a tone of convic- 
tion, ' I fear he would find them very real.' 

He is a soft smooth round man, with fat soft 
hands, and a very gentle voice and manner, but with 
no weakness of will or lack of perseverance. He is 
extremely cautious, but not in the least cowardly, — can 
quietly make his way, doubtless, into very hard 
substances, as some very soft creatures do (speaking 
without disparagement). J. indeed has publicly shown 
great frankness, for an Oxford don, and will be a 
reformer ab intra. 

I know full well how too impatient I always am, 
how too-too lacking in savoir faire. Yet I don't think 
I was wrong to speak freely to him, for once. Nay, I 
don't see how any thinking man can be at perfect peace 
with himself while his public conduct and private belief 
are not in agreement. I do not know one English 
Writer now living who is consistent. Emerson is : but 
supposing he were an Englishman } an absurd supposi- 
tion, for Emerson is entirely an American product. 

Saturday, April 2. — To Embley Park, Romsey [the 
home of Florence Nightingale's parents], invited from 
Saturday to Monday. Mrs. Clough is there (she is niece 

1864 LYMINGTON 99 

of Mrs. N, and cousin of Miss Florence Nightingale). 
Large house in a rich park : a rhododendron avenue. 
Immense drawing-room. Mr. Nightingale — tall, thin, 
courtly, white-haired, with blue swallow- tailed coat 
always buttoned ; in manner very quiet and sad. By his 
desire I read from In Memoriam one evening, and the 
poem seemed to impress him deeply. He and his wife 
live alone at the end of their days in this great house. 
Florence they never see and rarely, I think, hear from. 
She secludes herself in London on the ground of 
health and needing all her strength for public interests. 
There is a statuette of her in the hall. 

April 10. — Walked over to Brooke, Mr. Seely's, 
with one of the Camerons, and saw Garibaldi in the 
drawing-room, who, understanding me to be a poet, 
called me ' mio caro,' and shook hands heartily. He 
stood leaning sideways on a stick and looked of shorter 
stature than I expected : his face exactly like the 
portraits, the image of bravery, sincerity, and goodwill. 
I took my leave quickly, as there were numerous 
visitors to see the great General. 

April 22. — Laurence Bloomfield published, Many 
letters and notices of it came to me, mostly favour- 
able. The Irishman newspaper calls me ' a mitigated 
Whig,' but praises my pictures of the peasantry. 

May 16. — Tennyson praises Z. Bloomfield^ and says 
it was a very difficult thing to do. 

May 23-25. — Visiting Rev. W. Barnes at Came, 

Tuesday^ May 31. — Mr. Gladstone quoted L. 
Bloomfield last night in the House of Commons, 
describing it, according to the Times report, as an ' ex- 
tremely clever work.' The two lines he gave, apropos 
of some proposed alteration of the spirit duties, were 
these : — 

Poor Paddy of all Christian men I think 
On basest food pours down the vilest drink. 

(Chap. xii. 11. 296-297.) 

lOO LONDON 1864 

I opened the Times in a news-shop and felt a thrill 
at seeing my own words so unexpectedly. 

Monday^ June 6. — Very fine. Tennyson and the Boys 
come across the Solent to me and we make an excursion 
to Beaulieu Abbey. I take them through Walhampton 
by the Fir-walk. 

Tuesday^ June 7. — Lord Palmerston has recom- 
mended me for a Civil List Pension of _^ 60 a year — 
' on account of the merit of his poetical writings,' 
Serviceable : but do I like it ^ How much rather 
would I do without it ! But I have no turn at all for 
making money, that's certain, and perhaps I may give 
some equivalent. 

Saturday^ June 25. — To London. Parker's Hotel — 
Surrey St. Georgie Jones and Philip — Lyceum, Hamlet. 

Sunday., June 26. — To Warwick Crescent ; Pen 
Browning, then enter the great Robert, who greets me 
warmly and gives me ' Dramatis Personam.' He com- 
mended Bloomfield with reservation — ' Not so poetical 
as some of your things — but O so clever.' We talk of 
Tennyson, etc. 

Down to Chelsea and find D. G. Rossetti paint- 
ing a very large young woman, almost a giantess, as 
' Venus Verticordia.' I stay for dinner and we talk about 
the old P. R. Bs. Enter Fanny, who says something 
of W. B. Scott which amuses us. Scott was a dark 
hairy man, but after an illness has reappeared quite bald. 
Fanny exclaimed, ' O my, Mr. Scott is changed ! He 
ain't got a hye-brow or a hye-lash — not a 'air on his 
'ead ! ' Rossetti laughed immoderately at this, so that 
poor Fanny, good-humoured as she is, pouted at last — 
' Well, I know I don't say it right,' and I hushed him 

Monday., June 27. — Got down to Chelsea by half- 
past eight to D. G. R.'s. Breakfasted in a small lofty 
room on first floor with window looking on the garden. 
Fanny in white. Then we went into the garden and 
lay on the grass, eating strawberries and looking at the 

1864 LONDON loi 

peacock. F. went to look at the ' chicking/ her plural 
of chicken. Then Swinburne came in, and soon began 
to recite — a parody on Browning was one thing ; and 
after him Whistler, who talked about his own pictures — 
Royal Academy — the Chinese painter-girl, Millais, etc. 
I went off to Ned Jones's, found Mrs. Ned and Pip, 
and F. Burton ; talked of Christianity, Dante, Tenny- 
son and Browning, etc. Enter Miss Hill and another 
lady, and Val Prinsep. 

Wednesday^ June 29. — Dine at Bertolini's. Hay- 
market, pit, Sothern in ' David Garrick ' and ' Dun- 
dreary Married.' 

Thursday^ June 30. — To Warwick Crescent to lunch 
with Browning by invitation. Pen plays ' Chopin.' I 
say to R, B., ' Did you ever play as well as that ? ' to 
which he replied, ' A thousand times as well ! ' We 
spoke of Tennyson. T. told B. he thought 'Sludge' 
too long. B. answered, ' I hope he thought it too long! ' 
— that is, Sludge, when the confession was forced from 
him. Sludge is Home, the Medium, of whom Brown- 
ing told me to-day a great deal that was very amusing. 
Having witnessed a seance of Home's, at the house 
of a friend of B.'s, Browning was openly called upon to 
give his frank opinion on what had passed, in presence 
of Home and the company, upon which he declared 
with emphasis that so impudent a piece of imposture he 
never saw before in all his life, and so took his leave. 
Next day Browning's servant came into his room with 
a visitor's card, and close behind followed the visitor 
himself — no other than Mr. Home, who advanced with 
a cordial smile and right hand outstretched in amity. 
He bore no ill-will — not he ! Browning looked sternly 
at him (as he is very capable of doing) and pointing to 
the open door, not far from which is rather a steep 
staircase, said — ' If you are not out of that door in 
half a minute I'll fling you down the stairs.' Home 
attempted some expostulation, but B. moved towards 
him, and the Medium disappeared with as much grace 

102 LONDON 1864 

as he could manage. ' And now comes the best of it 
all,' said B. — ' What do you suppose he says of me ? 
— You'd never guess. He says to everybody, " How 
Browning hates me ! — and how I love him ! " ' He 
further explains B.'s animosity as arising out of a 
seance at Florence, where a ' spirit-wreath ' was placed 
on Mrs. Browning's head, and none on her husband's. 

B. spoke of London, parties, theatres, Sullivan, 
Gounod, etc. : ' If I could do exactly as I liked I should 
often go to an Opera or Play instead of to a party. I 
could amuse myself a good deal better. I should 
always treat myself to a good place.' 

He spoke of his own poems — would rather write 
music — longs also to be a sculptor ; 'If one could only 
live six hundred years, or have two lives even.' We 
went to the Underground Railway, Bishop's Road, 
together. ' I am going ' (he said) ' to a house where 
the eldest son is dead.' 

I walked through the Park to Woolner's in Welbeck 
Street, and found not only Woolner, but Tennyson 
there (up for some days), and also F. Palgrave. 
Woolner is engaged to dine with Novello, and I very 
gladly agree to stay and keep Tennyson company. 
T., P., and I walk in the Regent's Park, P. goes home. 
T. and I dine together. He has the proof sheets of a 
new book with him — some flitting notion of calling it 
' Idyls of the Hearth ' ? * Gladstone dined here on 
Monday ' — Swinburne — Milnes — De Sade — Naked 
model — ' the chastest thing I ever saw.' T. said he 
must begin to correct his proofs, and with the word 
came the sound of a barrel-organ, bringing dismay ! I 
took my leave, promising to quash the music, in which 
attempt I succeeded, seeing the grinding man well 
out of the street, then walked off to 5 Blandford Square, 
where I found Barbara L. S. B. and the Doctor,^ and also 
Mrs. Clough and Bessie Parkes. 

Plenty of friends and talks to-day. 

^ Dr. and Madame Bodichon. 

1864 LONDON 103 

Woolner lifts to the skies a German animal sculptor, 
Julius Haenel (43 Pyraneesche Strasse, Dresden), two 
or three small bronzes by whom he shows me, and 
admirable they are. H. finds it difficult to get money. 
Woolner says, ' If Haenel had done the lions in Tra- 
falgar Square people would have come from distant 
countries to look at them.' 

July I. — At the British Museum — Patmore ; he 
tells me of his conversion to the Church of Rome and 
intended marriage with Miss Byles. We talk of the 
Rossettis, etc. (but our intimacy is a thing of the past). 
I look at Ballad Books. Dine with Ned Jones and 
Georgie (Gt. Russell St.). Little Philip. Picture of Circe. 

Saturday^ July 1. — Tom Taylor, friendly as usual, 
carries me to luncheon at Lavender Sweep, where are 
Mrs. Taylor, her Father, Mr. Cipriani Potter, Miss 
Beales. Thence to Macmillan's, for a family dinner, 
large house at Balham, * The Elms.' Boys at see-saw in 
the garden. Return to the T. T.'s, and with them in 
a fly to a musical party at Charles Halle's, Cavendish 
Square. Madame H., a French-American, is a pleasant 
hostess. Kate Terry, Val Prinsep, Browning, Lady 
Annabella King, Sir John Simeon, Miss Cushman, 
Madame Parepa, etc. etc. 

July 6. — Breakfast at Lord Houghton's, sixteen 
guests. He introduces me to Captain Hamilton Aide, 
who lives at Lyndhurst. Bishop W^ilberforce, Swin- 
burne, Vambery the Hungarian traveller, Hon. Mr. 
Stanley (of Alderley), supposed Mohammedan. Vam- 
bery speaks, in beautiful English with a slight foreign 
accent, of his travels in Central Asia disguised as a 
Dervish. If discovered he would have been tortured 
to death. A Dervish, he said, must observe the cere- 
monies and fasts more strictly than an ordinary 
Mohammedan, but he sometimes procures a relaxation 
in this way : the Holy Man announces one morning 
that he has had a dream^ in which permission has been 
given to him to eat, drink, sleep, amuse himself as he 

I04 LONDON 1864 

likes, for a certain number of days ; and he does so 
accordingly, and is considered to be more holy than 
ever. The Bishop of Oxford inquired, in his exquisitely 
bland tones, ' Is it permitted to an ordinary Mussulman 
to have a dream of this nature ? ' To which Vambery 
replied, with the grave politeness which characterises 
him, ' He might dream, my lord, but no one would pay 
attention to it : one must be a Holy Man to have this 
privilege,' — at which there was a good deal of laughter. 

Vambery's account of his strange experiences was 
made the more interesting by frequent interruptions 
from Mr. S., who put questions, sometimes in a tone of 
no very good breeding, with the view of making him 
appear inaccurate, but Vambery always answered with 
good temper as well as perfect success. He is going 
back to Central Asia. * I hope ' (Lord H. said to 
me after breakfast) ' S. won't get him murdered.' I 
thought this breakfast very amusing ; Swinburne found 
it dreadfully dull. 

Thursday^ July 7. — Lunch with Browning : tell him 
of the pseudo-Dervish and the English Mohammedan, 
which amuses him. He wishes he had been at the 
breakfast ; it seems he had an invitation, but too late. 
Mr. Robert Lytton comes in — ' Joachim ; Tennyson ; 
Browning's new poem in blank verse.' Out with B. 

Friday^ July 8. — To Gabriel's, where are Madox 
Brown and Webb. 

Saturday^ July 9. — D. G. Rossetti and 1 dine at 
Hotel de Provence, Leicester Square, then to Opera, 
where Taylor has promised us places for ' Mirella.' 
Gabriel, who detests music, soon went away ; I remained. 

Sunday^ July 10. — E. B. Jones and I to Woolwich 
by rail, return by river. Evening, Highgate : The 
Howitts, friendly, walk back. 

Wednesday^ July 13. — Dined at Tom Taylor's ; Mr. 
Story (American Sculptor, who lives in Italy), wife and 
daughter, Mr. E. M. Ward ; I next Miss Story, who is 
chatty. Joke about the Bishop of Oxford, who told a 

1864 LONDON 105 

lady he had had himself weighed, just as he came out 

of his bath, and was exactly naming the weight. 

' With or without soap^ Bishop ? ' asked the lady. 
Mrs. Taylor plays. Miss S. sings. Mrs. Story asks 
me to call on them at 61 South Audley St. 

Friday, July 15. — Dine and sleep at Macmillan's, 
Balham. M. says he and his brother Daniel and his 
sister used to have better conversations together on 
literature than he ever heard since ' from Tennyson and 
all the rest of them.' He gave his opinion of Goethe, 
which was not high. A pleasant German lady played 
the piano well ; we talked of Freiligrath, etc. 

Sunday, July 17. — Hot. Browning having written 
a note about me to Arthur Sullivan the composer, I 
visited the latter to-day. He lives at 27 Claverton 
Terrace, Pimlico, and is organist at some church — 
perhaps in that neighbourhood. A. S. is short and 
tight, with dark complexion and thick curly black hair 
parted in the middle. Perhaps partly Jew ^ — a suspicion 
confirmed by his Mother's appearance, who is stout 
and dark. His Father, a South of Ireland man, is, I 
believe, dead. 

We talked of Operas and Songs : some notion 
floating among us that I might furnish him with words 
to set. He thinks Faust the best possible subject 
for an Opera, and wishes it had fallen to his lot to set 
it. Asks me if I can come to Covent Garden Theatre 
on Tuesday evening : he plays the organ in the 
Cathedral scene in Faust. I tell the traditionary 
story of the origin of the name SulHvan, which seems 
to interest him. An Irish Chieftain, famous for 
generosity, had one day at his board a Stranger-Guest 
— no unusual thing there. After the banquet this 
man, who was in truth a bitter enemy, cried aloud, ' A 
boon, O Chief! ' < Ask for what thou wilt,' said the 
Chief, ' it shall be given thee.' 

' Give me thy right eye,' said the other. 

And sooner than break his word the Chief plucked 

io6 LYMINGTON 1864 

out his eye and ordered it to be given to that evil guest. 
Henceforward the generous man was called Suil aon^ 
the One Eyed. 

By steamer to London Bridge and rail to Plumstead ; 
after some wandering, find the Red House at last in 
its rose-garden, and William Morris, and his queenly 
wife crowned with her own black hair. 

Monday, July 18. — The Red House, y-g- a.m. 
Rose-trellis. Jenny and May, bright-eyed, curly-pated. 
We hurry to the train. W, M. brusque, careless, with 
big shoon. Daldy the Publisher in train, ' Nightingale 
Valley.' I call on Samuel Laurence in Wells Street 
and see portrait of Leigh Hunt, etc. Then to E. B. 
J.'s, Gt. Russell St., where Swinburne comes in later. 

Tuesday, July 19. — To S. Laurence's Studio and up 
with him to Islington and have tea with his family. 
To Covent Garden Theatre and behind the scenes to 
Sullivan, watch him playing the organ ; Mr. Gye comes, 
and afterwards I have a Stall-chair. Faust — Artot, 
etc. Patti in box. (S. has no ideas outside of music.) 

July 21. — Back to Lymington. The country looks 
delightful, yellow corn, bending orchard boughs. 

Monday, August 29. — To Aubrey House, where 
Mr. and Mrs. Weld are now settled. It is near 
Keyhaven, on the way to Hurst Castle, and has the 
cliffs of the Island in full view. Walk back through 
the marsh under bright stars. 

October 8. — Crossed to Yarmouth in the steamer. 
Mrs. Cameron on board and Anthony TroUope and 
wife. I sat next Anthony outside the coach to Fresh- 
water ; he asked a great many practical questions about 
the houses and lands which we drove past — did not 
seem interested about Tennyson. Told me he had been 
in every parish in Ireland. He put up at Lambert's 
Hotel. I to Tennyson's, where a friendly reception. 
Macmillan here, also Mr. and Mrs. Pollock, the latter 
literary in her talk. Macmillan read aloud ' Boadicea,' 
Tennyson at one point interjected, ' What a fine line ! ' 

i864 BOSCOMBE 107 

(I forget what line it was). He also said, ' " Maud " is 
wonderful ! ' 

Monday^ October 10. — Farringford. Cricket with 
the two boys. Mrs. Tennyson's Alma Song : ' French- 
man, a hand in thine ! ' Poem : ' Dream of a Gate.' 

October. — Mrs. Clough being at Bournemouth 
invited me to visit her there, and I went over on Friday 
the 28 th. 

Friday., October 28. — Up at 7 — fog. Drive to 
Christchurch, the sun breaking through fog. Enter 
the great Priory Church and look at the Shelley 
Monument. Call at the gate of Boscombe in passing 
and leave Lord Houghton's note of introduction with 
my card. After luncheon I walked out to Boscombe 
and found Lady Shelley at home — a small lively pleasant 
woman, who invited us to dinner for to-morrow. 
Dinner-tea at Mrs, Clough's, and then I was left alone 
to examine Clough's letters, and MS. lectures on English 
Poetry. Mrs. C. wants advice as to what to publish. 

Saturday., October 29. — Boscombe. Sir Percy and 
Lady Shelley and two sisters of Percy Bysshe Shelley. I 
sat between them at dinner, having taken in Shelley's 
favourite sister, whose name is spelt ' Hellen.' She was 
lively and chatty, and I looked at and listened to her 
with great interest. She is tall, very slender, and must 
have been graceful and handsome in her youth, I saw, 
or fancied, a likeness to Shelley. She was sumptuous 
in light purple silk, which became her. She looked 
about fifty-six, but must be much more. Her sister, 
who seemed rather younger, was much less lively, 
Tennyson's name occurring in conversation. Miss 
Hellen Shelley let it plainly appear that neither he nor 
any modern poet was of the least interest in her 

' After Shelley, Byron, and Scott, you know,' she said 
to me, ' one cannot care about other poets,' 

Somebody had once read to her a poem of Tenny- 
son's, which she liked, but she could not remember 

io8 BOSCOMBE 1864 

what it was. It seemed doubtful that she had ever 
heard of Browning. 

Mr. Grantley Berkeley at dinner — a tall strong 
man over sixty, like a militaire. He lives in this 
neighbourhood on small means, is a great sportsman, 
and his talk worth listening to on the habits of animals, 
etc. He doubts whether there is such a disease as 
hydrophobia — thinks most or all of the deaths may be 
due to the effects of a punctured wound or diseased 
blood, helped by fright. Says he can't walk as he used 
to do — ' My feet stick to the ground.' Describes a 
quarrel with a game-keeper, in which he threw the man, 
who was insolent, into the river. He is off-hand and 
pleasant to talk to, enjoys society and private theatricals. 
In the drawing-room we found Miss Hellen Shelley 
stretched on a sofa, with two dainty white satin shoes 
with rosettes peeping beyond the purple robe, and 
looking really elegant. Her recollections of Leigh 
Hunt were not of a friendly sort, so I did not pursue 
the subject. She always speaks of her brother as 
' Bysshe.' A young lady sung an Italian song. I came 
away about 10. Sir Percy Florence Shelley is a rather 
short, fair and fattish man of forty-five. The nose, which 
is like his mother's, projects when seen in profile, but 
the front face is roundish and smooth, with small eyes, 
and a bald forehead over which the pale light-brown 
hair is partly drawn. His voice is very quiet but in a 
high key (the only point reminding one of his father), 
his words few, and whole manner placid, and even 
apathetic. He likes yachting and private theatricals, 
cares little or nothing for poetry or literature. He has 
a thinly -humorous, lounging, self-possessed, quietly 
contemptuous manner of comment and narration. 
When I mentioned Tennyson's poetry. Sir Percy said 
fellows had bored him a good deal with it at one time. 
He never read any of it of his own accord — saw no 
sense in it. 

Sunday^ October 30. — A good while to-day over 

1864 LYMINGTON 109 

Clough's letters : strange feeling, reading the private 
letters of a man whom you knew. Walked alone at 
twilight up the valley and through groves, then back 
to dinner-tea, 

Monday^ October 3 1 . — Fine, chilly. Return from 
Bournemouth to Lymington. Walk with George 
St. Barbe to Boldre Church, He knows Grantley 
Berkeley, and has gone otter-hunting with him. 

Tuesday^ November i, — Rev. Wm. Barnes comes on 
my invitation to give a lecture at the Literary Institution. 
He duly arrives by train at 3, and I gladly welcome 
the good old poet. We walk about the Town and 
he shows much interest in the Furniture Brokers' shops, 
old china, pictures, etc. — and bargains for a little oil- 
painting. Aide arrives, whom I have invited to meet 
Barnes, I take them for a walk to Buckland Rings, 
supposed ancient British Camp ; then dinner at my 
lodging (which I hope went off tolerably), and we 
moved to the Lecture Room. Mr. Barnes lectured on 
' West of England Speech,' and read some of his own 
poems. What the audience liked best was ' A Bit o' 
Sly Coortin',' which he gave at my particular request. 
It was evident that on the whole he seemed to them 
flat, in comparison with the paid Entertainers who 
occasionally come round. Aide came back to sup with 
us at my rooms, and then drove off to Lyndhurst, 
Barnes promising to visit him there. B. and I chatted 
till near i. 

Wednesday^ November 2, — Wm. Barnes ; he praised 
my Stratford-on-Avon dialogue, suggested some points 
of dialect, but does not understand the Warwickshire. 
I saw him into the train at 1.40. A man of simple 
manners and virtuous life, and a true poet. Though he 
is so much my elder, I was one of the first to make a 
stir about him, in talk and by the Press. The Brownings, 
Tennyson, Clough, Rossetti, etc. etc. — it was I who 
introduced Barnes's Dorset Poems to each and all of 
them. • 

no LYMINGTON 1864 

I met in the street old ' Lawyer M.,' who said he 
had been at the lecture last night, and ' thought it 
the damnedest stuff he ever heard,' to which I made 
brief reply. 

Dined at Captain Mildmay's. Lord Eversley (bland 
and courtly), Miss Shaw Lefevre, Mr. and Mrs. De la 
Tour, Mr. Cornwallis West (heavy swell), etc., fine 
dinner, powdered lacqueys. Mrs. Mildmay plays well 
on the concertina ; Mrs. De la Tour sings ; Chat to 
her and Miss Mildmay — Show them Astrologer's Bill, 
etc. etc. The only bit of conversation I gleaned from 
the late Speaker (Lord E.) was this : helping himself 
to a lump of ice after dinner, he turned to me smiling 
and said, with great grace of manner — ' Ice, I think, 
is agreeable at all seasons.' 

Saturday^ November 5. — To Aubrey House, where is 
now settled old Mr. Sellwood (father of Mrs. Tennyson, 
Mrs. Weld, and Mrs. Tennyson-Turner). He is tallish, 
very thin, with white hair and beard. He was a con- 
fidential Family-Solicitor of the old school, at Horncastle 
in Lincolnshire. Weld (once Secretary to the Royal 
Society) is a bit of a sportsman, is away from his family 
a good deal, and writes slight books of travel — a 
Summer here, a Winter there. 

December 7. — To Forest Bank, to meet Barnes. 
Aide sends carriage to Brockenhurst. At dinner Mrs. 
Craufurd, Miss Burrard. Mr. Weld mentioned : I 
describe him as ' geographically restless,' which amuses 



Monday^ January 2. — Proofs of my book, Fifty Modern 
Poems^ from Bell and Daldy. 

Wednesday, January 3. — Newman's Apologia and 
his portrait ; the narrow refined bookish man. Does 
all this about Oxford and the Fathers, etc. etc., really 
matter .? 

Thursday, January 5. — ' The Dial ' American Maga- 
zine. I don't like mock- Emersonianism. Balzac's 
Ursula ; is he an honest writer .? Droll correspondence 
with E. B. Jones, who wrote me a letter from a sham 
' Mary Jane,' admirer of my poetry, enclosing her 
photograph. I replied to Mary Jane, and enclosed it 
to the care of E. B. J. His rejoinder. Carlyle's 
Fredk., Vol. IV. — Swedenborg. 

Monday, January 23. — At Farringford. Breakfast. 
A. T. says my poems are * cleaner cut ' than most. 

' Are you going away .'' ' 

' Yes.' 

' You'd think it graceful of me to stay with you 
now .? ' 

I assured him I wished him to do exactly as he 

' Stay till three ' ; but I could not, so bade him 
Good-bye. He asked me about E. B. Jones and said 
he should like to know him better. 

Mrs. T. tells me that her father likes Aubrey House. 


January 28. — I accept invitation to lecture in Dublin, 
in May, on Poetry. 

February 20. — Weld calls ; tells me that Woolner 
is at Farringford. 

Wednesday ^ March 8. — Woolner comes across from 
Island in the 1.30 steamer, I meet him and go 
on to Brockenhurst Church and show him the Old 
Yew and Oak, with which he is well pleased and 
promises to come down and visit me. I walk into the 
Forest by Ladycross, get into swamp and have to try 
back. Shower of sleet. Ruined cottage with two yews 
beside it ; meet Under-Gamekeeper, who tells me he 
lived in that old place twenty-one years ; has seven 
children ; is now in a new cottage. 

' Which do you like best ? ' 

' I'd sooner be hanged at the Old Cottage than die 
a natural death at the other ! ' — an odd way of express- 
ing his feeling. 

Heathy Dilton, farmyard, wood and ferns, Royden 
Bridge, Boldre and Lymington. Dine at G. St. B.'s, 
afterwards play Pope Joan and win is. Found it dull. 
Conversation in the country always purely local. 

Buckle, Vol. I. Madox Brown sends ticket and 
catalogue for his Exhibition. 

Thursday^ April 6. — To Farringford — luncheon ; I 
praise the beauty of some trees, and A, T. comes out 
to look at them ; ventures round the corner, and we 
call at the Camerons'. I walk back to Yarmouth, and 
when near the bridge meet the two Miss Thackerays, who 
have just landed on the Island and are walking to Fresh- 
water. I tell them the way, which is rather puzzling. 

Saturday^ April 8. — To Freshwater: a colony: the 
Miss Thackerays, the Prinseps, G. F. Watts, Miss 
Stephen, Mrs. Baine, etc. 

Thursday^ April 13. — To Salisbury; 14th, Stone- 
henge ; 15th, Wilton, etc. ; i6th, Salisbury, Romsey. 
I have described this tour in a ' Ramble.' 

Friday^ May 12. — Leave from the Customs. Train 

i865 DUBLIN 113 

to London. Talk with a fellow-passenger, who is much 
in rich men's houses — Lord Ashley's, Lord Palmerston's, 
etc., now going to Windsor Castle ; a House Decorator. 
He says Tradesmen's Bills for the Royal Family are 
always very closely looked into — a good example. 
Euston Hotel, Princess's Theatre, Arrah-na-Pogue ; 
the Irishism of it melts me, and especially Boucicault's 
singing of * The Wearing of the Green,' which I hear 
was prohibited by the authorities in Dublin on account 
of the wild excitement it caused in the theatre. The 
Irish dancers good. 

Saturday^ May 13. — Euston to Chester, carriage 
all to myself, read. At Chester came in a family 
of foreigners, puzzling people. French } No. They 
were highly conversable, and proved to be Signer 
Quaglieni, an Italian, proprietor of a large circus now 
about to open for the season in Dublin, and part of his 
company, viz. his wife and several children, married 
daughter with baby, and his son-in-law, whom he intro- 
duced to me as ' a great man — enorme ! ' He is the 
chief equestrian, I understood. They have been at 
Brescia and other Italian towns, Vienna, Constantinople. 
We had a good crossing to Kingston, steamer very 
steady. We stayed on deck. Like most show-folk, 
the circus people seemed happy enough, and on good 
terms among themselves. One of the little girls, taking 
slight hold of a man's hand, sprang on a post with 
professional agility. 

I am to be guest of my good friends Mr. and Mrs. 
Samuel Ferguson. They are both out on my arrival, 
and on their return give me a most warm and hos- 
pitable reception. 

Friday, May 19. — Dublin. Car with S. F. to 
Stephen's Green — ' Chemical Preparation Room ' (jokes 
about that). Introduced to chairman. Dr. E. Kennedy, 
and committee, then march through door and find 
myself in lecture-room, as depicted by S. F. Look 
over audience and see people I know, but take no 


114 DUBLIN 1865 

special note of any. After the chairman's introduction, 
I read my lecture on Poetry for an hour, but often 
departing from the written text into more colloquial 
forms. I made no stumbles and felt no sensations of 
fear, depression, elation, or any other sort. This I find 
satisfactory to remember, and put along with some other 
personal experiences as indicating character — such as, 
the falling of a firework into a straw-yard and my 
immediately climbing the wall and putting it out ; the 
defending myself against two dogs, one a bloodhound, 
in a solitary warren ; the recovery from a sudden qualm 
on the scaffolding of a tower. The quality of coolness, 
presence of mind, when face to face with occasion, can 
only be discovered by trial, and it is agreeable to know 
or believe that one possesses it. As long as a question 
is open for decision I can be as vacillating as any one 

Monday^ May 22. — Call at Ferguson's — invitation 
from Petrie. I dine at the Ship Tavern, Abbey St., 
and go with my cousin David and two young ladies to 
Quaglieni's Circus, first to promenade then to reserved 
seats. A handsome circus and good performance. I 
have the honour of a personal greeting from the Signor 
and some of the ladies of the company. His son-in- 
law is clown. David and I drive out to Seafield and 
have supper. 

Tuesday 23. — Clontarf — Capel St., etc. Dine at 
Petrie's : ^ his four daughters. Miss Green, Samuel 

Petrie says, ' College men are not those who do fine 
original things.' Irish music ; violin, G. P., pianoforte, 
Miss Petrie, delightfully expressive playing. S, F., 
strange to say, has no feeling whatever for music. I 
write my name in Bloomfield and Fifty Modern Poems. 
Walk with Samuel Ferguson to Earl Street, and take 
a car to Seafield : its driver happens to be one Murphy, 

^ George Petrie, antiquarian and musician, for whom Allingham had a 
great affection and admiration. 

1865 DUBLIN 115 

formerly in the Revenue Police at Ballyshannon. He 
told me he drove ' Brown of Killybegs ' lately, and 
how rejoiced Brown was to meet him. Brown was an 
illicit distiller, and on one occasion Murphy fired a 
musket ball through his hat. 

Wednesday, May 24. — Move from Clontarf to the 
Verdon Hotel. Call at Capel St. and see Mr. Dan 
Brett, his legs swollen, sad, — novel reading his only 
pleasure. Boys read stories, old people read novels, 
the first curious about life, the second weary of it. 

To Miss Allen's, West Row, and am photographed ; 
Miss A. talkative, tallish, good-looking. Call at 
Wilde's, and drive with him as far as Hospital, where 
a patient is waiting for him — 'to have his eyelids 
chopped oiF.' There is no doubt but surgeons enjoy 
operating, and were it otherwise what tortures would 
not surgeons suffer, and would they be able to do the 
needful work so well ^ 

N.B. — They are sometimes accused or suspected of 
doing things which are not needful. Wilde was lately 
in London ; praised the doctors there for ability — 
adding, ' but we have plenty of fun and hlagardin 
among us here ' — are not so stiff and stuck up, he 

At Verdon Hotel, Catholic Bishop, M'^Gettigan — 
greets me warmly and asks me to dine with him, which 
I have to decline. Compliments about Bloomfield 
(which contains, by the by, a sketch of him). The 
hotel people are impressed by the Bishop's attentions 
to me. He is a tall, very comely man, with a pleasant 
brogue and simple manners — speaks and preaches in 
Irish ad lib. A good man — if he were only not a 
Bishop ! 

Friday, May 26. — Dublin. Started by rail for 
Enniskillen at half-past eight. In my carriage a man 
going to Canada ; we talk about Darcy M'Gee, etc. 
He had only just time to catch the Canadian Steamer 
in Lough Foyle, but at Dundalk Junction the Derry 

1 1 6 BALLYSHANNON 1865 

train went off without him, for which the railway 
people's stupidity was chiefly blamable. I gave him my 
card and promised to testify in writing to that effect. 

To Enniskillen by Steamer down the lake to Belleek, 
about 25 miles, then by 'Bus to Ballyshannon, and find 
myself ' at home ' once more — among old faces and 
places ; my Father appearing tolerably well for him, 
and cheerful, though now over seventy. He drank 
my health after dinner. Countless greetings from 

Saturday^ May 27. — Ballyshannon — rainy — my 
Father poorly. I sit with him and write letters. Little 
Stewart Johnston, Jane's son. Dr. Sheil, Wm. Lipsett, 
etc. Walk to the Abbey graveyard — is the ivy which 
I planted growing ^ My bedroom is out in the yard, 
a stable-loft adapted, ladder at one end, window, with- 
out glass, at the other, with rustic back-gardens beneath, 
and the blue head of Slieve League visible many miles 
away. A long room, uncarpeted, with slanting roof. 
I like it : no noises or bothers. 

May 30. — Dinner, trout. Down the Mall, pool 
filled, beautiful, tide in, salmon-boat hauling in the 
Pool, always interesting. Chat with numerous friends 
of all classes. 

May 31. — Walk in the garden at midnight and 
hear corncrake. 

June I. — My old nurse, Madge McNulty, to whom 
I am always ' Master Willy,' and indeed to most 
people here. Jack McN. (who partly sat for ' Jack 
Doran ')} 

Friday, June 2. — To Bundoran. Uncle Edward's. 
Visit Mrs. Tomes. 

June 11. — Left old Ballyshannon for Dublin, taking 
kindly leave of everybody. I don't think I have any 
enemies hereabouts. My Father and I have been on 
affectionate terms all the time. 

Thursday, June 15. — Dublin to London. 

^ One of the characters in Laurence Eloomfield. 


Monday^ June 19. — London to Lymington. Lym- 
ington looks very pretty, and the view from my 
windows in Prospect Place is delightful. I send ' Home- 
ward Bound' to Dalziel for his book. 

June 23. — Very fine. Walk to Aubrey House, 
Mrs. Weld, Agnes ; boat to Hurst Castle, the Jersey 
steamer passes ; fortifications, shingle poppies. Dinner- 
tea. Mr. Selwood — pleasant day — walk home by 
field-paths under the stars. 

Saturday^ June 24. — After Custom-House, steamer 
to Island. Farringford, hid my bag — find some people 
in the hay -field and Mrs. Cameron photographing 
everybody like mad. 

Went to house : A. T. says, ' Are you come to 
stay } ' I confess the bag and we go to fetch it. Mrs. 
Cameron focuses me, but it proves a failure and I 
decline further operations. She thinks it a great 
honour to be done by her. Dress for dinner. Mr. 
King, the publisher, at dinner and Mrs. King. Talk 
of Ireland, — -Petrie and other men, of whom A. T. 
hardly knows the existence. The cholera. T.'s den 
at top of house ; smoking, — Public Schools, Charter- 
house, etc., effect of a few bad boys on the rest — 
Tupper — Swinburne. The Kings take leave, are at 
the Albion Hotel. I sit reading and A. T. comes 
down to me, 

Farringford^ Sunday^ June 25. — Fine — at breakfast 
A. T. with his letters, one from D. of Argyll. Swin- 
burne — Venables. Out and meet the Kings — Mrs. 
Cameron. Return to Farringford. Dinner (which is 
at 6.30 always). Sitting at claret in the drawing-room 
we see the evening sunlight on the landscape. I go to 
the top of the house alone ; have a strong sense of 
being in Tennyson's ; green summer, ruddy light in 
the sky. When I came down to drawing-room found 
A. T. with a book in his hand ; the Kings expectant. 
He accosted me, ' AUingham, would it disgust you if 
I read " Maud " } W^ould you expire ? ' 


I gave a satisfactory reply and he accordingly read 
' Maud ' all through, with some additions recently made. 
His interpolated comments very amusing. 

' This is what was called namby-pamby ! ' — ' That's 
wonderfully fine ! ' — ' That was very hard to read ; 
could you have read it ? I don't think so.' 

What strikes me most in ' Maud ' this time, as always, 
is the section beginning, ' O that 'twere possible after 
long grief and pain.' It contains the germ of the whole^ 
and was written many years ago. 

Upstairs, talk of Poe. I praise Emerson, to which 
T. rather demurs but says little. By and by he asks 
me to lend him Emerson's books, which I will gladly 
do. I feel his naturalness much. 

Monday^ June 26. — Cloudy. Farringford. A. T. 
last night intended to come across with me and let me 
show him some places. Now, at breakfast time, he 
can't make up his mind. 

The Queen is liberal minded, she thinks Churchmen 
are in the way to ruin the Church by bigotry — likes 
droll stories — story of great fire and little fire to burn 
doll — When T. visited her she curtseyed very low in 
receiving him — was there anything particular in this.^ 

Another Majesty, Dowager Queen Emma of the 
Sandwich Islands, is expected soon on a visit to 

Saturday^ July 29. — To Farringford. After dinner 
T. spoke of boys catching butterflies. 

' Why cut short their lives } — What are we ? We 
are the merest moths. Look at that hill ' (pointing to 
the one before the large window), ' it's four hundred 
millions of years old ; — think of that ! Let the moths 
have their little lives.' 

Speaking of the Colonies, he said, ' England ought 
to keep her colonies and draw them closer. She ought 
to have their representatives sitting in London, either 
in or in connection with the Imperial Parliament.' 

Tennyson is always well at sea. ' To own a ship, a 


large steam-yacht,' he said, ' and go round the world — 
that's my notion of glory.' 

Of the Norwegian waterfalls he said, ' I never was 
satisfied with water before. On the voyage out, stand- 
ing at the door of the deck cabin, I saw a moving hill 
of water pass the side of the ship. I got on the top of 
the cabin, and saw the sea like a mountainous country, 
all hill and valley, with foam for snow on the summits ; 
— the finest thing I ever saw.' 

Tennyson loathed the necessity, which he fancied 
himself under, of writing for money, ' The fine thing 
would be to have a good hereditary estate and a love 
of literature.' Of the expenses of land-owning he said, 
'it costs ^100 an acre, and brings in nothing yet.' 

T. said he had read part of Carlyle's Frederick till 
he came to, ' they did not strive to build the lofty 
rhyme,' and then flung the book into a corner. 

He read some extracts in the Spectator about poetry, 
and referred to Carlyle's contemptuous way of speaking 
of poets, saying, ' We are all tadpoles in a pool, one a 
little larger or smaller than others ! ' How differently 
Goethe would have spoken of this minor poet : ' he 
was useful in his own time and degree.' — See MS. in 
' Minor Poets.' 

' I was at an hotel in Covent Garden, and went out 
one morning for a walk in the Piazza. A man met 
me, tolerably well - dressed but battered - looking. I 
never saw him before that I know of. He pulled off 
his hat and said, " Beg pardon, Mr. Tennyson, might I 
say a word to you.?" I stopped. "I've been drunk 
for three days and I want to make a solemn promise to 
you, Mr. Tennyson, that I won't do so any more." I 
said that was a good resolve, and I hoped he would keep 
it. He said, " I promise you I will, Mr. Tennyson," and 
added, " Might I shake your hand ? " I shook hands 
with him, and he thanked me and went on his way.' 

Thursday, August 10. — Steamer to Ryde, Spithead, 
ships of war. Ryde pier, rich idlers, white shoes, 


yachts' boats. Steep streets, photographers, libraries, 
fruiterers, hotels. Old town, country road, man 
mowing barley. Sun Inn, old fashioned, cold meat and 
ale. Portrait of Ellen Terry on the wall ; I say to 
girl who waits (the landlady's daughter), ' I know who 
that is.' Says she to me, ' Yes, it's Mrs. Watts — she's 
staying here ' ; which much surprised me. 

It seems she used to put up here in old times, when 
playing at the Ryde Theatre, and now, being married 
— and separated — she goes about by herself from place 
to place, and has come for a while to her friendly old 
quarters. She gave them this likeness on some former 
visit. I was in hope of seeing her fair face again, but 
she was gone to Sandown for the day. 

Mem. — The privileges granted to Pleasure Yachts 
appear to me utterly absurd and unjust. They pay no 
lighthouse dues, no Port or Harbour Dues, no fees on 
engaging or discharging men, all of which must be paid 
by every merchant vessel. They are allowed to have 
their 'stores' of dutiable goods, wine, tobacco, etc., 
free of duty. So are merchant vessels, but on over-sea 
voyages only, and in restricted measure. Why should 
the rich owners of Pleasure Yachts be thus favoured } 
The only reason I have heard given is that yachting is 
a ' nursery for the Navy.' Is it .? 

There are at least 7000 men and boys, all picked, 
engaged in Yachts. From all I have observed and 
heard here on the Solent, the most Yachtish piece of 
water in the world, nobody that can possibly help it 
ever goes from the idler and better paid Yachting 
into either the Navy or the Merchant Service. The 
gentlemen in livery who abound in Rotten Row and 
elsewhere might almost as well be supposed a nursery 
for the Army as yachting a nursery for the Navy. 

Sunday., August 6. — Lonely. Walk, field -path, 
Pennington Farm, standing corn. Ditch crowded with 
wild-flowers. Would I had a companion ! 

August 14. — Sunny. Yacht Pilgrim — the monkey 

1865 LYMINGTON 121 

— am shown the young Millionaire's sea-journal and 
observe such spelling as, ' addopt,' * to or three,' 
* oceant,' — but of course he may spell as he likes. 

Wednesday^ August 16. — Headache, depressed. 
Walk to Aubrey House, meet Captain Barton, pleasant 
friendly man ; he has a turn for languages ; has lived 
near Buda, and knows Hungarian. Charles Tennyson 
Turner, like Alfred, though of shorter stature. Manner 
peculiar to the family, at once dignified, odd, very easy 
and natural ! Way of speaking odd but distinct, and 
the phraseology always original. Enter C. R. Weld 
with fishing tackle and one trout, — talk on Natural 
History — terrible to be attacked by an Eagle, ' like a 
flying bulldog,' I say : ' Couldn't be anything much 
worse than that,' says C. T. T. I like him much, and 
we seem to take to each other. 

Thursday^ August 31. — Steamer Solent to Portsmouth 
to see the French Fleet now at Spithead, Solferino 
and other iron-clads, black brutal hulks. We carry a 
tricolour and cheer the French ships in passing. 

Friday^ September i. — Very fine. C. House, pay 
pensioners, then hurry off to Gosport to see more of 
the French invasion ! High Street. A pleasant boatman 
rows me past the old Victory to La Reine Hor tense 
(curious juxtaposition !) moored in the middle of 
Portsmouth Harbour, and I board and look through 
the Imperial ship, bedrooms and all, shown round by 
a polite young Frenchman, of what rank I know not. 
When I thanked him at parting he replied, ' Pour 
rien, M'sieur ' ! — exact equivalent of the Irish phrase 
in similar case, ' I'm much obliged to you, Pat ' — 
' Nothing, sir.' 

Portsmouth Hard — Oueen St., etc., crowds, taverns, 
French and English sailors drunk together, some arm- 
in-arm, mutually friendly and unintelligible. The 
French turn up their straw hats all round. 1 said to old 
boatman, ' They look pretty much like English sailors.' 
He : ' Ah ! they tries to come as near us as they can ! ' 

122 LYMINGTON 1865 

Illuminations, crowds, noise. Queer bedroom atop of 
a house — sleep I don't know how. (The world-wide 
miracle of Sleep.) 

Monday^ September 11. — Cloudy but warm — Institu- 
tion — take the chair at ' Penny Reading ' : any use .'' 
The people prefer rubbish. Linden arcade, brown 
half-moon low in the east — mind ill at ease. 

From thirty-five to forty-five 
'Tis sometimes hard to keep alive, 
Hopes are dying — when they're dead, 
Joys are flying — when they're fled, 
Perhaps we can be comforted. 

Thursday^ September 14. — Fine, warm, windy. Trip 
in steamer. On board a blind man singing to a 
harmonium played by a woman : ' Became blind at 
fifteen.' ' Those feel it less who are born blind,' I 
suggested. ' Perhaps,' he answered, ' but I am glad to 
have seen the world' We ran past the Needles, touched 
at Bournemouth Pier and took in new passengers, then 
came the cliffs of Swanage Bay, the Old Harry rock, 
with tossing and sea-sickness. Landed at Swanage, an 
out-of-the-world place, houses roofed with large gray 
stones, narrow crooked street. Many stone-masons 
here. Beyond, a valley with trees and brook. Lunched 
at ' The Ship,' kept by Mrs. Diddlecomb, and back to 
steamer — more tossing and discomfort, of which I had 
a little. 

On deck made friends with a quick bright Boy of 
seven, whose father sat grave and silent reading letters 
in a female hand. Boy and I talked oceans of nonsense. 
Passengers got out at Bournemouth and Yarmouth ; 
then we ran for Lymington by starlight, missed the 
channel, and stuck in the mud. We had to land by 
boat, some of the women frightened ; one, a smooth 
fair woman, ' going to Leicester to-morrow,' threw her 
arms round me, which was some compensation. The 
oars sparkled as they dipped. Landed at the Bath, with 
wet feet ; to Custom-House, and home to dinner. 

1865 LYMINGTON 123 

September 20. — Walked to Aubrey. Met a poor 
looking woman who asked, ' How far to Lymington ? ' 
I answered, ' half a mile,' saw she looked very tired and 
questioned her. Says she has walked twenty-two miles 
to-day, on her way from Portland, where she has been 
to see her son, who is in the Convict Prison (for theft). 

' My poor boy ! it wasn't altogether his fault, — he 
fell into bad company — he has got three years. He got 
the Governor's order for me to see him — he wouldn't 
have asked for it if he had known how bad-off I was. 
I walked down from London to see him, and now I'm 
walking back. I saw him for about half an hour, in a 
cage as you might sav.' 

I fully believed her and gave her something, for 
which she was very grateful. 

' God return it to you ! ' 

What women suffer from husbands, and from 
children ! 

September 23. — Warm and bright — walk in Forest, 
but without enjoyment — my thoughts astray. 

September 27. — Old Mr. Rice's death-bed — asks to 
see me and takes leave of me — the feeble white face of 
a once strong man. The Reverend Mr. W. comes 
and, he gone, I return for a moment. ' Have you 
anything to say to me, Mr. Rice } ' — ' No.' 

A quiet silent man (employed in Portsmouth 
Harbour in youth — afterwards rope-spinner by trade), 
who has gone steadily and I believe honestly along his 
humble track in life. He is over threescore and ten, 
his old wife is gone before him, his family are grown 
up (three of his sons are masters of yachts, one keeps 
a tavern), almost all his bodily powers have ebbed away, 
tho' his mind seems unaltered. 

' What should the Old Man do but die } ' He is 
entirely content it should be so, and has nothing to say 
about it. 

September 30. — Cross to Island. Mrs. Cameron on 
board, with heaps of photographs. To Farringford after 

124 LYMINGTON 1865 

5 o'clock, come in at the tail of a ' drawing-room ' in 
honour of Queen Emma of the Sandwich Islands, to 
whom I am presented — middle sized or rather less, 
pleasant face, with black hair and dusky complexion. 
(Her grandfather an English or American sailor ?) 
Several parsons and parsonesses present. A few words 
with Tennyson, who asks me if I will come for a 
walk to-morrow. Drive with Lionel in ponychaise 
down to the shore, then good-bye, and walk away, 
lonely. Rasher at Inn. Out by moonlight, little bay, 
chalk cliffs, moonshine on the sea. 

Thursday^ October 5. — Walked up and down Lyming- 
ton High Street and examined the forms of the separate 
houses — some seventeenth — most eighteenth century } 
One may live long in a town and never do this. Old 
bricken chimneys are often beautiful, — new, in the same 
class of buildings, never. 

Where did the good taste, or instructive rightness, 
in former days come from } — and whither has it fled } 

Saturday^ October 7. — Decline St. B.'s dinner — walk 
to Buckland, new green sprays, — short second Spring, 
on Winter's edge. 

Has anybody walked habitually alone as much as I } 
Many, doubtless, — but none that I know. And who 
fonder of congenial company } 

October 13. — To Lyndhurst and visit Miss Dickson 
at her new house 'The Bird's Nest.' Miss D., quick 
and pleasant in talk — writes music (as ' Dolores ') and 
sings her own songs very sweetly in a small voice. 
Her setting of Tennyson's ' Brook ' is enormously 
popular and has brought hundreds of pounds to the 
publishers: she has got about ^\q by it altogether. 
But (they would argue) it was a speculation, and the 
success has helped her name. 

Thursday^ 19. — Death of Lord Palmerston (he did me 
a good turn), G. St. Barbe has told me about P. riding 
over sometimes from Broadlands to the New Forest 
Hunt, never wore an outside coat in any weather, at 

i865 LONDON 125 

most turned up his collar. Generally liked, I should 
guess, and a good deal trusted — without exciting any 

To Farringford. Tennyson has been visiting Weimar, 
which he declares to be ' the most interesting place in 

He saw there (as I did) kind James Marshall, the 
Grand Duchess's private secretary, and through him 
Goethe's House, etc. 

' I touched Goethe's coffin,' said Tennyson, ' and I 
thought of you then ' (looking at me). 

I felt this as a very great compliment. Miss Simeon 
asked, ' Why did you think of Mr. Allingham ^ ' 
T. — ' You ignorant maid ! don't you know his 
beautiful little poem about Weimar } ' 

Friday, October 27. — To London. At E. B. J.'s, 41 
Kensington Square. Rain. In driving from Waterloo 
past Westminster Abbey saw crowd of people with 
umbrellas — Lord Palmerston's funeral. 

Saturday, October 28. — 41 Kensington Square — 
two studios. ' Zephyr carrying Psyche ' — delightful 
— precipice, green valley, Love's curly little castle 
below. Designs of' St. George and Dragon.' Drawings 
of Heads. Circe (a-doing), she stretching her arm 

Go to see Chang the Chinese Giant, and meet Lord 
Houghton there, always friendly, invites me to come 
with him on Sunday to Westminster Abbey to hear 
funeral sermon on Palmerston — to call for him at the 
Athenaeum Club. Mrs. Chang. The Dwarf, queer little 
toad. Dine at Bertolini's. 

Sunday, October 29. — With Lord Houghton to 
Westminster Abbey. 

He took me to the Deanery and introduced me to 
Dean Stanley and Lady Augusta ; three or four others 
were present. After a few minutes we moved to the 
Abbey, entering by a special door ; the Dean went his 
own way, and our party was taken in charge by a 

126 LYMINGTON 1865 

special verger, who marched before us with his silver 
staif and ushered us to seats in front of the pulpit. I 
imagined myself for the time Marquis of Ballyshannon. 
Dean S., looking in his skull-cap a hundred years old, 
preached his funeral sermon on Lord Palmerston. He 
made no pretence of giving any religious colour to it, 
praised P.'s honour, courage, cheerful good sense, ' In 
trying circumstances he never took fright,' said the 
Dean, ' never was flurried, never desponded,' and so on. 

We went out by one of the public doors, like 
ordinary minor Christians. 

Tuesday^ October 31. — Lymington, showers. Rev. 
WilUam Barnes comes to me by invitation. I go up 
from the Custom-House and find him sitting by my fire 
in Prospect Place. We dine at 6.30 : to the Literary 
Institution, where B. lectures on House and House-Life 
— caves, huts, tents, etc.. Wives (laughter), Praise of the 
good wife, — Odd lecture, rather puzzled everybody. 
Had Dr. Adams and Doman to meet Barnes at supper. 

Wednesday ^Novemher i. — Breakfast — Barnes. Showed 
him the Ancient Laws of Ireland^ and read him some 
of Gammer Gurtons Needle^ which he did not know 
before. Both books interested him. Custom-House, 
pay pensioners. Barnes has been invited to go with 
me to Farringford, and we cross to Yarmouth, nearly 
fouling a collier on the way. 

B.'s old-fashioned ways, his gaiters, his long knitted 
purse which he ties up in a knot, broad brimmed hat, 
homely speech. 

We drive in a fly to Farringford, where T., Mrs. 
T., Miss T. meet us in the hall. T. and B. at once on 
easy terms, having simple poetic minds and mutual 
goodwill. Talk of Ancient Britons, barrows, roads, 
etc. I to upper room and dress, T. comes in to me 
and we go down together. Dinner : stories of ghosts 
and dreams. To drawing-room as usual, where T. 
has his port, B. no wine. T. says : ' modern fame 
is nothing : I'd rather have an acre of land. I shall go 


down, down ! I am up now.' T. went upstairs by 

Tea : enter Mrs, Cameron (in a funny red open- 
work shawl) with two of her boys. T. reappears, and 
Mrs. C. shows a small firework toy called ' Pharaoh's 
Serpents,' a kind of pastile, which, when lighted, twists 
about in a worm-like shape. Mrs. C. said they were 
poisonous and forbade us all to touch. T. in defiance 
put out his hand. 

' Don't touch 'em ! ' shrieked Mrs. C. ' You sha'n't, 
Alfred ! ' But Alfred did. ' Wash your hands then I ' 
But Alfred wouldn't, and rubbed his moustache instead, 
enjoying Mrs. C.'s agonies. Then she said to him : 
' Will you come to-morrow and be photographed ? ' 
He, very emphatically, ' No.' 

She turned to me — ' You left a Great Poet out 
of your Nightingale Valley^ and have been repenting 
ever since in sackcloth and ashes — eh.''' She meant 
Henry Taylor. 

I tried to say that the volume was not a collection 
of specimens of Poets, but she did not listen. Then 
she said graciously, ' Come to-morrow and you shall be 

T. and I went out to the porch with Mrs. C, where 
her donkey-chaise was waiting in the moonlight. 

Tennyson now took Barnes and me to his top room. 
Darwinism — ' Man from ape — would that really make 
any difference } ' Huxley, Tyndall. 

'Time is nothing,' said T., 'are we not all part 
of Deity .'' ' ' Pantheism ^ ' hinted Barnes, who was not 
at ease in this sort of speculation. ' Well I ' savs T., ' I 
think I believe in Pantheism, of a sort.' Barnes to 
bed, T. and I up ladder to the roof to look at Orion. 
Then to my room, where more talk. He likes Barnes, he 
says, ' but he is not accustomed to strong views theologic' 

We talk of Browning, for whom T. has a very strong 
personal regard. 'Browning must think himself the 
greatest man living. I can't understand how he should 

128 LYMINGTON ises 

care for my poetry. His new poem has 15,000 lines — 
there's copiousness ! I can't venture to put out a thing 
without care. Good-night.* Bed about one, sleep 

November 4. — Lymington. Fine — Measured the 
Yacht Stella by girting, then rowed round by ferry and 
bridge in the sunshine, and felt as if it were shining out 
of old times. I seldom care to row in this shallow 
muddy river. Homer. Letter from Phil Jones begin- 
ning, ' Please, Mr. Allicum — ' 

Wednesday^ November 8. — Fraser has a contemptuous 
notice of my Fifty Modern Poems ^ which takes me 
unpleasantly by surprise. What can Froude mean, after 
all his private cream and sugar ^ 

Saturday, November 18. — Fine. I meet Woolner at 
the train and take him to my lodging. We cross to 
Yarmouth together, and by fly to Farringford. 

Sunday, November 19. — To breakfast at Farringford 
— read Gladstone on Homer (not much use }) Stroll 
with A. T. and Woolner before luncheon. Walk after 
on the Downs, A. T., Woolner, Weld and I ; rain, and 
shelter in an empty cottage. Woolner tells of Coventry 
Patmore's new wealth from his second marriage, his 
magnificent wines, etc. — has bought an estate in Sussex. 
Catholic now. We climb to the edge of the Downs 
and looked over the gray sea. 

Woolner said, ' This is better than Welbeck St. ! ' 
T., ' But it's lonesome. Sunday touches Sunday.' (He 
meant that the weeks ran away without incident.) 

Monday, November 27. — Studying Max Miiller these 
days ; suppose he is a great authority on Language. 
Walk, Pennington Common, moonlight — plan a set 
of Japanese Poems (quasi -Japanese). Longing for 

Solentisms. — The folk who live by the Solent say 
mash for marsh, 'ood for wood, waps for wasp, year 
for here, postes for posts, haps for hasp, porching for 
poaching ! acker is to stammer ; butt a beehive ; /'// 

1865 LYMINGTON 129 

twist 'en ! ' means I'll do it — i.e. some troublesome feat. 
They say shant us for sha'n't we, to he for to him, and 
make many or most neuter objects masculine ; it being 
a jocular saying among themselves, ' In 'Am'sheer every- 
thing's 'e but a tom-cat — see one, and. There she 
goes ! ' 

November Heavy blasts shake the house. 

Clough's Letters, Sorting old letters with kind 
thoughts of old friends. 



January 9. — Ride to Brockenhurst — sudden snow- 
storm, careering between the trees and across the road 
like a charge of wild cavalry ; wraps us in winter, clears 
ofF. Froude writes apologetically about the review in 
Fraser. {N.B. — The article was by a Scotch lawyer 
named Skelton, at whose house near Edinburgh Froude 
is in the habit of putting up.) Lewes's Goethe — don't 
like it. L.'s opinions on Goethe's works occupy much 
space, and might be almost wholly spared. 

January 22. — Death of dear good George Petrie (in 
Dublin, on the i8th). 

Tuesday^ January 23. — Fine and spring-like, but 
I not well — thinking of George Petrie all day — sad 
and sweet recollections. In the mild sunshine of his 
company I never had a vexed moment. His presence 
like one of those tender old Irish airs which flowed so 
lovingly from his violin. 

Thursday^ February i . — From Custom-House window 
see Tennyson on board the steamer as she passes,. and 
hurry to station. Mrs. Tennyson and Lionel go off 
in a fly to Aubrey. T. and I walk, by Pennington, 
Everton, etc. Dark and moist day, some showers. 
Talk of Plato and Greek manners. In Lymer Lane 
we come to a Spring by the wayside. ' I'd give any- 
thing,' T. said, ' to have such a one at Farringford.' 
Crossed a brook which ' broadened on the road,' and 


1866 LYMINGTON 131 

this also delighted him. ' Whenever I come to see 
you,' he said, ' bring me to a Brook. I'd sooner have 
it than a hundred ruined Castles.' 

Saturday^ February 3. — To Brockenhurst by train, 
where Aide meets me and we walk to Lyndhurst. 

Forest Bank, dinner — Aide and his sweet courtly 
old Lady Mother, ' Gussy ' Gore (son of Mrs. Gore 
the novelist), and his wife, Paul Graham, etc. 

Sunday, February 4. — Forest Bank. A. and Paul 
Graham to church. I at home, look at A.'s sketch- 
books (1847, etc.), chiefly of foreign scenes. Find Vol. 
of my own poems, marked here and there. After 
lunch, A. and I call at the Gore's — a curious place. The 
house was a brewery, and an odd delightful room was 
made of a storehouse and loft thrown together. 

Mrs. Sartoris, who thought of taking the place before 
the Gores, said it would be 'the romance of rheumatism.' 

Dinner at 7. Drawing-room, fashionable chat of 
Mrs, Aide and Paul Graham (who is just of age). 

Thursday, February 15. — To Buckland Road, six 
elms and a fir tree uprooted, top of fir carried across 
road and plunged into the ground. Fiddle — try songs. 
Lonelyish — supper, milk. 

Whence or when I know not, 
She will come at last, 
And with one look will pay me 
For all the lonely past. 

March 20. — Showery, chilly. De Musset, essentially 
trash .^ Meditations : what is life worth without love, 
without faith .? 

Friday, May 18. — Farringford. Walked with 
Tennyson among the trees and lawns. T. said, ' White 
lilac used to be my favourite flower.' 

A. — ' It is something like a white peacock.' 

Then I told him what Browning said to me about 
a passage in the 'Princess' — 'Tennyson's taken to 
white peacocks ! I always intended to use them. The 
Pope has a number of white peacocks.' 


We went through the gate and down to Wisley 
Green. T. remarked, ' I have not been outside my 
own grounds before for ever so long.' 

We spoke of Byron. T. greatly admired him in 
boyhood, but does not now. 

' When I heard of his death (it was at Somersby, my 
Father's rectory) 1 went out to the back of the house and 
cut on a wall with my knife, " Lord Byron is dead." ' 

' Parts of Don Juan are good, but other parts badly 
done. I like some of his small things.' 

A. — ' Any of his Tales, or Mysteries, or Plays ^ ' 

T.— 'No.' 

A. — ' He was the one English writer who disparaged 
Shakespeare. He was a Lord, and talked about, and he 
wrote vulgarly, therefore he was popular.' 

T. — ' Why am I popular .? I don't write very 

A. — ' I have often wondered that you are, and 
Browning wonders.' 

T. — ' 1 believe it's because I'm Poet-Laureate. It's 
something like being a lord.' 

The true poetic crown, he said, was not made of 
what we call laurel ; he showed me a specimen of the 
classic laurel growing at Farringford (sent him, I think, 
by Mr. Edward Lear), a small bush with pointed 
twinkling leaves. 

May 25. — A little excursion from Friday till 
Monday. Wimbourne, Blandford, Salisbury, Fording- 
bridge, Ringwood, etc. 

Wednesday, June 13. — Breakfast at Farringford. 
Letter from an Irishman, Belfast, addressed — 

' To the Laureate of England ' — 

asking the meaning of something in In Memoriam. T. 
in the lawn and meadow running about bareheaded (for 
exercise), ' like a madman,' his sister says. 

Friday, June 22. — Very fine. Train to Lyndhurst 
Road and walk into Forest — beeches cut down — warm — 

1866 LYMINGTON 133 

pretty country towards Dibden and Southampton. 
Tents, with folk like Gypsies (but they say no\ peel- 
ing rushes for rushlights : you leave a strip of green 
on the pith for backbone. Beaulieu, the Duke's park, 
old church and ruins. Village, tide in. Cottage hung 
with roses, man in front garden tells me he has lived 
there fifty-three years. I praise the beauty and quiet, 
but he often thinks he * ought to a'pushed out into the 
world — gone to London or some large place.' Boys 
fishing for bass. The miller's, a piano going inside 
(' it is the miller's daughter,' no doubt). Rasher and ale 
at the inn. The young lady at the bar with short 
curls and towny air finds it ' very dull here.' I walk 
away at 20 to 9, sunset light over heath and forest, 
long road. The night-jar whirring. 

Saturday, July 14. — Returning to lodgings from 
office find that a telegram has come and the servant 
has gone out with it to find me, taking wrong way. 
Frightened — my Father? Turns out to be very 
pleasant, ' Crown Hotel, Lyndhurst. A. Tennyson 
to W. AUingham. Will you come to us here ^. ' 
Dine hastily and rush to train. 

Sunday y July 15. — Breakfast at Crown 9.30. A. T., 
Mrs. T., Hallam and Lionel. A. T. and I out at 12. 
Swan Green, forest path, Halliday's Hill, we swim 
through tall bracken. T. pauses midway, turns to 
me, and says solemnly, ' I believe this place is quite 
full of vipers ! ' After going a little further, he stopped 
again and said, ' I am told that a viper-bite may make 
a woman silly for life, or deprive a man of his 

We entered Mark Ash, a wood of huge solemn 
Beech trees, the floor thick-matted with dead leaves ; a 
few trees were broken or fallen ; some towered to a great 
height before branching. We sat on the roots of a 
mighty Beech. T. smoked. We shared in sandwiches 
and brandy. Then he produced a little pocket As T'ou 
Like It, and read some parts aloud. 

134 LYNDHURST 1866 

Returned by Holm Hill — View to Isle of Wight, 
with six or seven distances one behind another. T. 
limps, his boots pinch him — paid £1 : 1 2 : 6 for them ; 
his Bootmaker in the Burlington Arcade, highly fashion- 
able. ' Writes to me, " Mr. Alfred Tennyson." ' 

I suggested, ' he feels he is doing you an honour, 
being plain Afr., in consenting to make your boots.' 

T. — ' One day while he was measuring me, I called 
his attention to my corns, and said, " Have you any 
corns } " — From that moment he threw off all respect ! ' 

We agreed that with the French, or Italians, or Irish 
you can be familiar without breeding contempt. 

We strike again into the woods and reach the hill 
over Swan Green at 4. The donkey-chair with Mrs. T. 
and the boys appears, and a stupid little donkey- 
driver. It jolts down the rough wood-path. Huge 
flies draw blood. 

H., L,, and I go in search of the great Knight wood 
Oak and find it, looking fresh and healthy, but one limb 
lost. ' Kelt and Saxon.' Dine 7.30. T. on sofa at 
window, pleasant chat. 

' I hate publishing ! have published much for book- 
sellers' reasons. A grain of originality is a great 

' True knowledge of people very hard to get at : 
physiognomy is misleading.' 

I argue against this and think that, if you can read 
them, faces will tell you the truth. 

T. — ' You may think you have insight when you 

I out, and take a dark walk to corner of Fox Leas 
and back. Owls shouting. Corncrakes. 

Monday., July 16. — 'The Crown.' Breakfast — 
rough waitress, poorly managed Inn. I pack up and 
go down the Brockenhurst Road, A. T. having started 
before me. At Fox Leas corner find him sitting under 
a tree. Talk of a trip to Ireland. Good-bye, walk 
to station, train to Lymington. 

1866 LYNDHURST 135 

Wednesday^ July 18. — Considering about T. and 
Ireland. Brockenhurst. Walk to Lyndhurst by 
Holland's Wood and Pondhead. Inquire at two 
places for lodgings, — 'taken.' Crown, all out, engage 
a bedroom. 

Dinner, A. T., Mrs. T., H. and L. The sherry 
here, T. says, a compound of spirits of wine — a bottle 
of it ' stunned me.' 

We talk of plans and routes for a trip. T. has 
decided against Connemara. T. and I out in starlight, 
down street, lower road. He is surprised to find I 
have a habit of taking a walk after dinner. 

' What is that star ^ ' 

' Arcturus.' 

T. — ' I see it shuddering and tearing away ! — my 
eyes are so bad. In the Plough each star is a wide 
blot of misty light. 

' The old mail-coach travelling sometimes delightful. 

' I remember going from London to Bath in 
spring outside the coach — all very fresh and bright, a 
delicious day ! No words can express the heavenly 
feeling I had.' 

Dogs — T., ' When I lived in Epping Forest I had 
a big mastiff; he once ate up a little dog.' 

' Did he bite people ? ' 

' Sometimes.' 

Thursday^ July 19. — Lyndhurst, fine. Walk with 
T., Fox Leas, Whitley Wood, Queen's Bower, brook 
dry ; a heron rises. Another brook, brisk and clear, 
which pleases T. ' I should like to lie in that pool 
for an hour. Nothing so delightful to the mind as 
a brook.' I say good-bye, cross Ober Green and hurry 
to train, thunder-shower in the evening. 

Sunday^ July ii. — T. and I walk to Swan Green, 
turn off to Emery Down and into Compton Manor by 
path which leads us into a Park and then flower-gardens. 
We are posed, till a gardener shows us the way, with 
the remark that, ' It is not liked that people should 

136 LYNDHURST ,866 

come through the Manor.' We explain that we lost 
our way. See a jay. Cross a brook. Take a wrong 
turn to the left, and inquire at a cottage where 
the folk are at dinner and civilly offer us beer. The 
wood-paths puzzle us again. 

T. says, ' I want some forest,' and leans over a gate 
while I go scouting to the top of the hill and scratch 
my new umbrella amid the brambles (important at the 
time !) Reach Stony Cross Inn and make inquiries, 
then back to T., who is lying under a hedge, reading. 
He reads aloud from his book, Materialism of the 
Present Time, by Paul Janet. 

' Vis inertias — matter can do nothing by itself — 
there must be a Primary Motor,' 

A huge hornet ; T. kills it. 

' A weekly paper called The Hornet — sweet name to 
choose ! ' 

To the Stony Cross Inn ; bread and cheese and 
shandygaff {i.e. beer and ginger-beer), good ; civil girl. 
We look at rooms upstairs, and T. opens a door 
disclosing folk eating, and shuts it. View of woods 
below the ridge. We descend ; felled trees, bare 

W. M. Thackeray — his letter about the ' Idylls ' — 
' While I am reading your splendid verses, here I lie 
in bed ' — his sufferings. 

On large famihes — Mill, Malthus, etc. 

We look about for the big yews, and can't find them. 
Ask Rural Postman, who says, ' The Sloden Yews are 
all cut down. They were offered me, the whole of 'em, 
for _;^50. It was the head place for Yews.' I think he 
said they were bought for ;^30 by an upholsterer at 
Southampton. We much vexed ; T. said he would 
have paid ^^30 himself to have preserved this famous 
Yew Wood, old beyond memory, and fit to live beyond 
reckoning. The cutting probably done by order of 
some London official down for the day. But surely 
the Deputy Ranger here might have interposed.'' The 

1866 LONDON 137 

wood is valuable, but very hard to cut and work. 
We now had wide prospects Eastwards, over forest 
and field, dale and down, towards Southampton and 

After dinner we talk of dreams. T. said, ' In my 
boyhood I had intuitions of Immortality — inexpressible ! 
I have never been able to express them. I shall try 
some day.' 

I say that I too have felt something of that kind ; 
whereat T. (being in one of his less amiable moods) 
growls, ' I don't believe you have. You say it out 
of rivalry.' 

Tuesday, July 24. — Have got ten days' leave. 

Wednesday, July 25. — To London by 10.20 train. 

Thursday, July 26. — Note from Browning, just off 
to Bretagne : on mourning paper ; his father dead. 

July 27. — Dine at Tom Taylor's, Lavender Sweep. 
In with them to Opera. 

Monday, July 30. — Kensington Square. Studio. 
Psyche drawings. Book planned, Morris, and ' lots 
of stories and pictures.' 

To D. G. R., Cheyne Walk. My old regard for 
D. G. R. stirs within me, and would be as warm as 
ever if he would let it. Fanny, Howell, D. G. R., 
H., and I walk to Sloane St. ; talk of dining at the 
Wellington (corner of St. James's St.), but do dine 
or feed at a little a -la-mode beef-house off Sloane 
Square. His pleasant easy manners. He is now acting 
as Secretary to Ruskin. He tells about the subscription 
for old George Cruikshank, of which he is Treasurer. 
I promise £ i . 

' C. is very badly off ' 

' How can that be ? He has no children.' 

' A number ! ' 

When we separated I turned the corner into Cheyne 
Row, and seeing light in No. 5 went in. Upstairs 
room, Carlyle, Miss Welsh (' Maggie '), Miss Jews- 
bury, and an old bald man, to whom I was introduced 

138 LONDON 1866 

by C. ' This is David Laing, well known to all 
inquirers into Scottish affairs.' (Librarian to the 
Signet Library, Edinburgh.) 

They were looking over some engraved portraits, 
and C. singled out one, asking pointedly, ' Whose face 
do you call this .? ' Laing suggested that it might be 
So-and so, or So-and-so, C. saying * No, no, no ! ' and 
at last, ' I perceive that you can throw no light on the 
matter.' It is his own conviction that this (a shrewd 
humorous face with bald forehead and scanty beard) 
is the only authentic portrait of John Knox. 

Miss Welsh is ever cheerful and chirpy. Miss 
Jewsbury asks me to visit her. Mr. Laing gone, 
C. and I sit on chairs in the little back garden, under 
the summer stars, he smoking. 

The New Forest — adder, properly ' a nadder.' He 
repeats, ' the poison of asps is under their tongues.' 
He speaks approvingly of my paper on Petrie in 
Fraser. ' Perhaps oi;^r- appreciative — but that is as 
it should be in such a case.' C.'s last visit to Dublin 
and intercourse with Petrie there. 

' Very amiable and good man ; but can get no good 
of his writings.' 

We walk out in the solitary streets. 

' Success of Prussia — nothing has pleased me so well 
for forty years. I knew it must be. Bismarck a hero 
— his disregard of the babble of people and newspapers, 
and of his own parliament. 

' History of Ireland — I recommend you to try it. 
You may do a very nice book in ten years ; not long, 
about the length of my French Revolution. It's a book 
that would have a large sale. Whatever poetic faculty 
you may have would be shown in this form, etc. 

' The death of Hugh de Lacy, where was that ? ' 

* At Durrow in Meath. Hugh de Lacy was looking 
at a new castle he was building, when an Irishman 
standing by suddenly pulled an axe from under his 
loose coat, and at a blow struck off Hugh's head, 

i866 LONDON 139 

stretched forward, doubtless. Head and body fell into 
the castle ditch,' 

' I would have gone and looked at the spot if I 
could have found it.' 

As we parted he said, ' Come again some evening, 
at eight.' 

Then by solitary streets and devious ways I arrived 
at Kensington Square, and found Ned, sleepy, returned 
from a Reform Meeting in the Agricultural Hall, 
Islington, whither he went with Faulkner. N. J. is 
now a People's Man. 

Tuesday, July 31. — Kensington Square. Rainy. 
' Reform Meeting. Couldn't hear the speeches.' 
Studio, N. painting ; imitates old Connoisseur talking 
of ' Greek Art,' etc. I in cab to D. G. R.'s. 
W. M. R., friendly — back from Naples, Vesuvius, 
Pompeii. Sandys, painter, large heavy man with short 
yellowish hair parted in the middle. Tells me he 
* wants a dreary moor to paint — is there such a thing 
in the New Forest '^ ' Enter Swinburne (his hair cut). 
Talk about ages : W. M. R. tells his experience of 
Vesuvius. Swinburne's new volume is on the table. 
Am asked to dine here on Friday. Swinburne asks 
leave to stay the night. Kensington Square about 3. 
Leave a note on table — ' Your respectfully drowsy 
Friend — 3 a.m.' 

Sleep not comfortably on my sofa. 

Wednesday, August i. — Newspaper says cholera is 
increasing. I ask Ned to come down to Lymington, 
with wife and babes. Thinks of it. At dinner 
William Morris, pleasant, learned about wines and 
distilling. The Big Story Book, woodcut of Olympus 
by N. Jones. M. and friends intend to engrave the 
wood-blocks themselves — and M. will publish the 
book at his warehouse. I like Morris much. He is 
plain-spoken and emphatic, often boisterously, without 
an atom of irritating matter. He goes about 12. 

Thursday, August 2. — Waterloo, 5.10 train. Lord 


Cardigan (for Portsmouth), bustJe in station, hats 
touched ; a thin old upright man with an air of 
command ; face cold, but not exactly repulsive. 
Bishop of Winchester (Wilberforce), shrewd, ruddy old 
round face, young man with him (his son?), and a 
clever looking little parson. 

August 6. — Look at Miss Knight's rooms for the 
Joneses, think they will do. Write. 

Wednesday^ August 15. — Lodgings far from ready, 
bring books. Meet Aubrey De Vere in Ashly Lane, 
coming to call on me. Chat, ' going to Ireland, then 
back to Bournemouth — Laurence Bloomfield^ etc' ; with 
me to station. I to Brockenhurst. Here's Ned 
and Madam and Pip and Baby ! They much like 
Stanwell House. 

Friday^ August 17. — Ned and I crossed to the Island 
and visited Tennyson, who received us very friendlily 
and took us up to his den. 

Saturday^ August 18. — Very fine. South wind. Ned, 
Georgie and I to Brockenhurst. Field-path, stiles, Ober 
Green, heather : Queen's Bower. Sit by the little 
bridge. Oakenshaw, big oak, brook, insects, big beech. 
Ned sketches. I read aloud Robin Hood and the 
Monk. Skirt New Park to other wood, they tired. 
Ned does not paint down here (it's his holiday), and 
only makes a few pencil sketches. He occupies himself, 
when in the mood, with designs for the Big Book of 
Stories in Verse by Morris, and has done several from 
Cupid and Psyche ; also pilgrims going to Rome, and 
others. He founds his style in these on old Woodcuts, 
especially those in Hypnerotomachia^ of which he has a 
fine copy. His work in general, and that of Morris 
too, might perhaps be called a kind of New Renaissance. 

Sunday, August 26. — Fine. Rail 4.5 to Brockenhurst. 
The old Church. Service over, we peep in and 
encounter the Vicar, Rev. ' Paddy ' Falls. I apologise, 
introduce my friends. ' Come in. Why not .'' ' he says, 
with a strong brogue and funny twinkle of eye. ' I 

1866 LYMINGTON 141 

was just saying a few words to a poor woman — pouring 
the " leperous distilment " into her ear.' I remarked 
that we ought to have come in service-time. ' Not at all, 
sir, not at all ! ' says Paddy politely, and showed us 
round the church. N. and G. were delighted with this 
Vicar (' hot from the service,' as Georgie remarked), 
and thought the quotation ' leperous distilment ' very 

Through Brockenhurst Park, where N. likes the 
woods. Roydon. They tired — Boldre — Lymington 
about 7, very tired. Ned comes to dine with me, not 
Georgie. . . . He lauds Luini; speaks of the injustice of 
the critics, ' wonder when people will begin to speak of 
me decently.' With him to Stanwell : return and read 
Carlyle's Cromwell. 

Tice^daj;-yiwgust 28. — Rain, clears up. Yacht. Webb 
comes by train, a room for him at Perry's. We dine 
at Stanwell House. 

Thursday ^ Jugtist 1^0. — Rail to Winchester, with N.,G., 
and Webb — meet Morris there. All walk by the Close 
and meadows to St. Cross. Old man, dining-hall ; 
men's rooms, old cloisters, wooden arches — mixed up 
with leaves and flowers. The Dole. Back by meadows 
and streamlets. Dinner at ' The George,' tough mutton, 
parsonic waiter, red-faced grinning Landlady, bill 19s. 

Cathedral — west window, bits of old glass, choir, 
side aisles. Lady chapel, wall paintings, etc. Morris 
talked copiously and interestingly on all things, Webb 
now and again on technicalities (also interesting). Ned 
enjoyed the general charm and picturesqueness ; I also, 
in my own way — but with the drawback of uncomfort- 
ableness which I alwavs feel from the incongruity of 
past and present, ot old intention and modern significance, 
in these great and beautiful Edifices. 

A Verger, tall, sallow, and melancholy, did not offer 
his services, but made a remark or two which seemed 
to imply, in a self-respecting manner, that he was ready 
to go round with us officially if we cared for him. 


But, taking slight notice of him, Morris discoursed 
away, and the Verger hstened with the rest of us, at 
one point civilly correcting Morris on a detail, and 
pointing out the broken hand of a Knightly figure. I 
made some sort of apology aside to this man for not 
availing ourselves of his guidance. With a mournful 
pride he confessed his sympathy with our views, saying, 
' I should do just the same myself. I never meet any 
one in a place like this that I would care to have go 
round with me.' 

We went to the College. In the Chapel, bad glass 
in imitation of old. To Dining Hall by outside stairs, 
bread and butter on square slab of wood, beer, and tea 
(a modern innovation). The Boys. I have my usual 
feeling of no unkindly envy at the discipline and 
training (the evils, very real, at present invisible). 
Schoolroom — dormitory. Under gateway and out. 
Old walls, then clear brisk river, little houses with 
gardens, bridge, St. Giles's with little red-tiled steeple- 
spire, — wide space. High Street, the downs rising 
beyond. Old Hall, Assize Courts, Arthur's Round 
Table ! View of City and Cathedral flushed with 
sunset. Field-path to Station. Ned, G., and Morris 
and I back to Lymington — Webb to London. M. 
being hot wants to sit in a draught. When we got 
to Stanwell House, Ned said, ' I'm very sorry, but 
I've been so lazy I've not done a single thing for 
the book,' to which Morris gave a slight grunt. Then 
Ned produced his eight or nine designs for the wood- 
blocks, whereupon Morris laughed right joyously and 
shook himself. Supper, then took M. to the ' Nag's 
Head ' for his bed. House-maid uncivil : a very stupid 
ill-mannered set of humans in these parts. 

Friday^ August 3 1 . — Carriagefrom ' Nag's Head ' takes 
N., G., M., Phil and me to the sea at Milford. Milford 
Church, in, good, ' time of Henry I., about,' Morris 
says ; choir waggon-roofed. Hurst shingle, M. and N. 
sprawl, won't walk. We bury Morris up to the neck 



in shingle. Surge, boats, sward. M. would like to 
find lodgings in Milford. Return — they dine with me 
at 7. Look at folio Virgil with plates, and Raleigh's 
History of the World, etc. 

Tuesday, September 4. — N. and G. sup with me. 
Heywood's Woman Killed with Kindness^ and Heine's 
honest Lottery Office Keeper (which delights N.), 

After they go I read in Swinburne's volume, lent me 
by Ned, but can't like it : great display of literary 
power of a sort, to what result } so elaborated, so 
violently emphatic, so really cold-blooded. 

Wednesday 5.— Cloudy, showers. To Stanwell 
House. The Joneses packing up. Baby Margaret, 
asleep on large bed, her father has made like a grotesque 
giantess, by means of gloves and shoes peeping out at 
immense distances. Good-byes, including old Mrs. 
G., who is eighty-eight, living at top of the house, 
Nosegay, omnibus. Train for London, and so ends the 
pleasant friendly visit. They would like, they say, to 
come again, and to the same lodging. I walk back to 
Lymington by the old church and Boldre. 

Wednesday, September 19, — Southampton Exhibition. 
Pictures — 'Sir Joshua,' Hunt's ' Awakening Conscience,' 
Lear's ' Florence,' Lee's ' Caprera,' etc. Antiquities — 
Indian and Chinese things, etc, etc. An Exhibition 
always troubles my mind — why i' — it is heterogeneous 
and confused, as a whole the very opposite of an artistic 
thing. A Collection of whatever kind ought itself to be 
a Work of Art — hard to manage this in a temporary 
Exhibition, yet even here something might be done. 

Monday, October i, — Clough as poet is reflective and 
didactic. His landscape painting is noteworthy for 
its truth and solidity. It is often too truthful to be 
good as art, resembling rather a coloured photograph 
than a picture. Something of the land-surveyor, one 
might say, mingles with the poet. In everything, 
indeed, he aims at exactness, sometimes with too 
obvious an effort. 

144 LYMINGTON ' 1866 

M^an^ shape the moment I God will shape the life. 

[Allingham received a sudden intimation of his 
Father's death — on October 7. He went at once to 

This was his last visit to Ireland.] 

November 9. — Walk — the old pathway to Brocken- 
hurst Church, through Mr. Morant's park, obstructed 
by an oak lying across it, so that the rain has formed a 
small morass. The Squire evidently allows it to lie 
there for the annoyance of people using the path, which 
he would fain shut up. What an ugly trick. Hear 
guns, and see M. in shooting-dress, dark-haired, florid, 
rather dandified man between thirty and forty, some- 
thing like an opera Baritone. Daresay he would like to 
shoot me for being on this path, which has certainly 
been public since before the Norman Conquest, while 
his family have only been here two or three generations. 
The old Doomsday Book Church, with its yew and 
hollow oak, always a delight to me. There is talk of 
building, mainly by the Squire's wish, a new one in 
another place — cutting one more of the threads that 
join Past with Present. Of what use is John M. in the 
world } Towards the village he has closed up lately a 
beautiful bit of shady byroad. 

On my return find a parcel by rail from Gabriel con- 
taining the portfolio of photographs from drawings by 
his poor Wife ; they are naturally full of his influence.^ 
Also of two very beautiful pencil portraits of her by 
his hand, one a head, the other full-length. 

Short, sad and strange her life ; it must have seemed 
to her like a troubled dream. She was sweet, gentle, 
and kindly, and sympathetic to art and poetry. As to 
art-power, it is not easy to make as much as a guess ; 
and this portfolio hardly helps. But it is very interest- 
ing, at least to those who knew her. Her pale face, 
abundant red hair, and long thin limbs were strange 
and affecting — never beautiful in my eyes. 

^ These are now in Mrs. Allingham's possession. 

1866 LYMINGTON 145 

Sunday, November 11. — Milder weather, mind dull 
and muddy. History of Ireland — lawlessness and turbu- 
lency, robbery and oppression, hatred and revenge, 
blind selfishness everywhere — no principle, no heroism. 
What can be done with it '^. 

Monday^ November 12. — Meet G. St. Barbe. He 
applied viva voce, to oblige me, to the Parson of EUing- 
ham, whom he knows, for leave for me to look over 
the Parish Register. I want to see if I can discover any 
traces of my ancestors (Allingham and Ellingham are, 
I believe, identical), who came to the north-west of 
Ireland in, Petrie thought, Elizabeth's reign. The old 
Vicar answered gruffly, ' Shilling a year, shilling a 
year ! ' that is, I must pay a fee of a shilling for each 
year I look at. This might come to a good deal of 
money, so I give the thing up. 

November 13. — Out after midnight to look for 
meteors, see many streaming like fiery arrows, mostly 
from east to west. 

Wednesday, November ii. — Farringford. Breakfast. 
Letter for Tennyson from Poets sending specimens of 
their work, and autograph seekers. T. says, ' I should 
like to sneak about and get a cup of tea by myself.' 
At which Mrs. T. smiles sweetly on us, T. added, in a 
matter-of-fact way, ' I breakfasted alone for a quarter of 
a century.' Mrs. T. asks me to stay, but go to Lymington 
I must, so hurry off to Yarmouth, running part of the 
way, to catch steamer. Cross again in the afternoon, 
and walk to Farringford. Dinner. Parson F. defends 
Church and State. Parson's wife angry, and shows it. 

Drawing-room. — T. on the death of children, with- 
out any reference to orthodox phrases or notions. 
Mrs. F., driven out of her wits almost, declares what 
he says to be ' mere chop-logic' After this he goes 
upstairs leaving us silent and the parson's wife enraged, 

T. and I upstairs — ' Swinburne — he has a metrical 
swing. W. M. Rossetti's pamphlet.' 

' You shocked Mrs. F.' 


* Can't help it.' 

Thursday^ November 22. — Farringford. After break- 
fast T. reads a number of Songs of his under the general 
title of The Window^ or, The Loves of the Wrens^ pre- 
facing it by the remark, ' They're quite silly ! ' 

These songs were privately printed some little time 
ago at the press of Sir Ivor Guest. Arthur Sullivan 
saw a copy and managed to get a promise from T. to 
allow him to set them to music and publish them, all 
together, on some half-profit arrangement. T. repented 
of this and tried hard to back out. Some lines in them 
one remembers like a nursery rhyme — 

When the winds are up in the morning, 
Vine, vine and eglantine. 
Rose, rose and clematis 
Kiss, kiss ! 

There are naiVetes and niaiseries — 

You are small, am I so tall ? 
Cannot we come together ? 

For it's easy to find a rhyme — 
It's ay, ay, ay, ay, ay ! 

In reading this, T. jumped round most comically, 
like a cock-pigeon. He is the only person I ever saw 
who can do the most ludicrous things without any loss 
of dignity. 

Reading the lines — 

After-loves of maids and men 
Are but meats cook'd up again, 

he remarked, ' That's very like Shakespeare.' 

December 2. — Letter from John. Irish Annals. 
Walk, Shirley Holmes, — heavy shower ; shelter under 
ivied porch of gatehouse, man looks out, I ask leave 

he replies ' I doesn't know as it's any 'arm to 

stand theer,' — a British welcome, or Anglo-Saxon 
rather. Yellow sky under rain-cloud. 

Saturday^ December 22. — To Tom Taylor's, Lavender 

1866 LONDON 147 

Sweep, for Christmas. Clapham Junction, all trains late. 
Reach the hospitable house about 7, in good time for 
dinner. Then T. T. hurries me off to the Junction 
again, and from Waterloo we take a cab to the Adelphi, 
and see The Sister s Penance, with Kate Terry. The 
Indian Mutiny scene, Ahmedvolah. In a stage-box the 
Terry family (including Nellie) and their Yorkshire 
friends. We just catch train at Waterloo and get home 
about half-past twelve. 

December 24. — Lavender Sweep. After City, a 
steak at the Cock, in honour of Will Waterproof — but 
where is now the ' plump head-waiter ' } Rail from 
Blackfriars ; in the train a widow telling a man of her 
son's death, sour-looking man opposite interposes ' I 
doubt if your son died a right and happy death,' and 
then goes out. I speak to the widow and try to take 
away the dismal effect of this fellow's harsh words. 
She tells me of her son, how good he was. After the 
widow got out, one woman in the carriage said to 
another ' we want something to cheer us up after that ' 
— perhaps gin. 

No people talk so freely as the lower class of 
Londoners when thrown together. 

Lavender Sweep. Children's party — The Terrys, 
Burnands, etc. Game of Post Office, I blind the people. 
Game of the Ring. Mistletoe. All gone. Chat by 
the fire. 

December 26. — Lavender Sweep. Goodbye. Bright 
spring-like day. To Kensington Square. Ned. Studio. 
He with me to Kensington Station and sees me off. 



Friday^ January 24. — Lymington. Fine and vernal. 
Ferry to steamer — delightful colours of earth, sky and 
sea, a bloom upon the landscape. From the Solent 
see the woody background of Lymington recede, the 
Island approach with a welcome ; a boat with red 
sails passes in the sunshine. I feel tranquilly happy. 
Yarmouth, send two bottles of whisky to A. T. by 
Lambert's driver. Walk to Farringford, field-path, 
warm. Drawing-room. Mrs. T. (looking ill). Miss 
T., T, He and I walk on the downs ; very friendly 
talk. I said I felt happy to-day, but he — ' I'm not at 
all happy — very unhappy.' He spoke of immortality 
and virtue, — Man's pettiness. — ' Sometimes I have a 
kind of hope.' His anxiety has always been great to 
get some real insight into the nature and prospects of 
the Human Race. He asks every person that seems 
in the least likely to help him in this, reads every book. 
When Vestiges of Creation appeared he gathered from 
the talk about it that it came nearer to an explanation 
than anything before it. T. got the volume, and (he 
said to me), ' I trembled as I cut the leaves.' But alas, 
neither was satisfaction there. 

Plato : T. says he has not really got anything from 
him. iEschylus is great ; he quoted from a Chorus in 
the Agamemnon. 

Women in towns, dangers to health, horrible 

1867 FRESHWATER 149 

diseases, quack-doctors, etc. T. would have a strict 
Contagious Diseases Act in force everywhere. 

We go through kitchen garden, lane and gate to 
the road as usual, where we take leave after some talk 
upon Christ and the People. T. loves the spirit of 
Christianity, hates many of the dogmas. 

Friday^ February i. — T. is unhappy from his uncer- 
tainty regarding the condition and destiny of man. Is 
it dispiriting to find a great Poet with no better grounds 
of comfort than a common person ? At first it is. 
But how should the case be otherwise ? The poet has 
only the same materials of sensation and thought as 
ordinary mortals ; he uses them better ; but to step 
outside the human limitations is not granted even to 
him. The secret is kept from one and all of us. We 
must turn eyes and thoughts to the finer and nobler 
aspects of things, and never let the scalpel of Science 
overbear pen, pencil and plectrum. A Poet's doubts 
and anxieties are more comforting than a scientist's 
certainties and equanimities. 

Saturday, February 2. — T. and Lionel just starting 
for a walk ; we took the green road at foot of downs, 
T. had in his pocket a volume, or pamphlet, of Edwin 
Waugh's Lancashire Songs, and when we paused he 
read, ' Coam whoam to thy childre and me,' with praise. 
We went to the end of the downs overlooking the 
Needles. T. spoke of Campbell — his vanity — ' has 
written fine things.' 

Edge of cHft, wind blowing in from the sea ; a ship 
ashore at Brook, 

Sunday, February 3. — Walk with T. to Brook Bay, 
ship ashore, the Fannie Larabee of Bath, large, three 
masts, good model. There are people on the shore, 
but T, doesn't seem to mind. We walked to next 
point and saw a steamer ashore at Atherfield ; then 
turned up to downs and came back by a path slanting 
along the cliff side, like a frightful dream rather, my 
head being lightish. T. tells of people who have fallen 


over, and at one place is a monumental stone to com- 
memorate such an accident. I said (walking close 
behind him) ' suppose I were to slip and catch hold 
of you, and we both rolled down together,' on which 
T. stopped and said, ' you'd better go on first.' 

We talked of Dryden, Campbell, etc. T. told me he 
was prevented from doing his Arthur Epic, in twelve 
books, by John Sterling's Review of ' Morte d'Arthur ' 
in the Quarterly. ' I had it all in my mind, could have 
done it without any trouble. The King is the complete 
man, the Knights are the passions.' Home a little late 
for dinner. Afterwards T. rose to leave the room. 
Matilda (I think) asked, ' Where are you going ? ' 

* To read the Scriptures.' 

Later in the drawing-room he read aloud some of 
Goethe's lyrics. 

Monday, February 18. — Mist. Steamer to Yarmouth. 
Flags flying. The Queen expected from Osborne, 
coming to take a look at this part of the island. I to 
Farringford. I say to T., ' Perhaps the Queen wiU 
visit you to-day.' He thinks it possible. 

' Then I had better go .? ' 

' No, stay by all means.' 

Talking of the Queen, when T, was at Osborne 
Her Majesty said to him, ' Cockneys don't annoy aj,' 
to which T. rejoined, ' If I could put a sentry at each 
of my gates I should be safe.' 

* She was praising my poetry ; I said *' Every one 
writes verses now. I daresay Your Majesty does." She 
smiled and said, " No ! I never could bring two lines 
together ! " ' 

The Queen, I find, has steamed past Yarmouth, 
landed at Alum Bay, and lunched there at the hotel. 

March 30. — Ride to Hurst. Returning, I rode by 
the edge of the sea, till in one place the horse suddenly 
sank to his belly in the muddy sand. I had a real fright 
for half a minute, and then we scrambled out, I don't 
know how. At Keyhaven I got the horse well wisped. 

1867 LONDON 151 

Wednesday^ April 3, — Farringford. Tennyson and 
I busied ourselves in the shrubberies, transplanting 
primroses with spade, knife, and wheelbarrow. After 
dinner T. concocts an experimental punch with whisky 
and claret — not successful. Talks of Publishers, anon 
of higher things. He said, ' I feel myself to be a 
centre — can't believe I shall die. Sometimes I have 
doubts, of a morning. Time and Space appear thus 
by reason of our boundedness.' 

We spoke of Swedenborg, animals, etc., all with the 
friendliest sympathy and mutual understanding. T, is 
the most delightful man in the world to converse with, 
even when he disagrees. 

To my inn, where I woke in the dark, bitten, and 
improvised two lines — 

Who in a country inn lies ill at ease 
On fozy feathers fill'd with furious fleas. 

April 18 io 25. — In London, staying at Tom 
Taylor's — old Mr. Barker is there. See Carlyle, 
Browning, Ned Jones, etc. 

Sunday J April 1 1 , — Lunch with Browning at War- 
wick Crescent. Miss Browning. Swinburne's writing 
'a fuzz of words.' Browning improvises, 

Don't play with sharp tools, these are edge 'uns, 
My Ned Jones ! 

B.'s pet owl sits on its perch in a corner, B, calls 
him ' a good man,' petting and stroking him. We 
speak of William Morris, and B. wishes he could see 
him : I say, ' Come with me to him,' and B. hesitates, 
but ends by not finding it possible to-day. Enter Pen. 
As Tou Like It — Mrs. Scott Siddons was ' so bad ! ' 
Shakespeare's language ; he invented a great number of 
words and phrases which have become common property — 

The big round tears 
Cours'd one another down his innocent nose. 

Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens ! 

152 LYMINGTON 1867 

Now Byron says * swept,' and that's all very fine — but 
give me the man who first said ' sweep.' 

To Cheyne Row. C, asks about my Irish History^ 
but is not satisfied to find me taking much trouble 
about the ancient part, for which he cares very little, 
the old Saints excepted. I fear, indeed know, that my 
views and his are irreconcilable. He describes Mentone 
— clear air, good peasant people near it. 

Saturday^ May 4. — Lymington. By train to Brocken- 
hurst and walk to Queen's Bower. The brook be- 
starred with white flowers (water crowfoot), little fishes 
gliding. Sit under the Big Oak reading As Tou 
Like It, — and this might be Jacques's very brook in 
Arden. Then through forest glades appears a carriage 
with Aide, George du Maurier and his wife, and Miss 

May 24. — To Winchester, St. Giles's Hill, Cathedral, 
St. Cross, etc. 

May 25. — Farnham (see Rambles by Patricius 
Walker), Cobbett's Birthplace *The Jolly Farmer.' 
Bishop's Park, fine old walls, great elms, deer. Moor 
Park and Waverley, river, ruins, Crooksbury Hill 
(dark firs). 

May 26. — Guildford — Hog's Back, Liphook — Gray- 
shot, and find the Tennyson house (they occupy the 
best part of a large farmhouse). Lionel shows me the 
piece of land which his Father thinks of buying to 
build on. 

May 27. — Morris's Jason, 'from his friend the 
Author.' Medea oiFwith the Fleece — admirable. 

Sunday, June 9. — Find with joy a book on my table, 
by post, May-Day — gift from Emerson. 

Monday, June 10. — Fine, warm. To Brockenhurst 
by invitation to the Bowden Smiths, croquet, roses, hot 
sun. Field-path to station, red campions and kingcups. 
Down train comes in with Mrs. Cameron, queenly in a 
carriage by herself surrounded by photographs. We 
go to Lymington together, she talking all the time. 

1867 LONDON 153 

' I want to do a large photograph of Tennyson, and he 
objects ! Says I make bags under his eyes — and 
Carlyle refuses to give me a sitting, he says it's a kind 
of Inferno ! The greatest men of the age (with strong 
emphasis), Sir John Herschel, Henry Taylor, Watts, 
say I have immortalised them — and these other men 
object !! What is one to do Hm ? ' 

This is a kind of interrogative interjection she often 
uses, but seldom waits for a reply. I saw her off" in the 
Steamer, talking to the last. Dine 7.30 — Sit on door- 
step and hear corncrake in the moonlight. Haymaking 

June 18. — Very line. Picnic in Forest, School- 
girls and grown folk, youths and maidens. A Club 
Day also — children in waggons^ — noise and laughter — 
wood walks. We dine on the grass at 2.15. 

Friday 2%. — Hot. Leave of absence : Burnett, my 
locum tenens^ appears, and I start for London, to stay 
in Kensington Square. Find Georgie well, Ned at 
Morris's — supper. 

Saturday 29. — Kensington Square. Hot — call at 
Lavender Sweep ; Mrs. Tom Taylor, Lucy, W^ycliffe. 
Up Regent St. ; dusty, dry, ugly London. Dine at 7. 
Ned and I in garden of square ; to us enter Mr. John 
Simon (from next door) and his niece. Mr. S. a kind, 
bright pleasant man and good talker, as well as eminent 
surgeon, boyishly merry at times. He and his niece 
run a race to the house, then he jumps on the low wall 
and lies flat on it as if exhausted. Read Ruskin's 
Lecture at Royal Institution on Art and Life. 

Sunday 30. — Ned's Studio, ' St. George and Dragon,' 
' The First Mirror ' (nude models). To Queen's Square ; 
Mrs. Morris, Jeannie and May. Enter Morris, frank and 
friendly as usual — Supper. 

Tuesday, July 1. — Ned, Howell and L Howell 
' going to be married in August ' — I congratulate him ; 

he says * you are more encouraging than , who, 

when I told him, said in an anxious tone — 

154 LYMINGTON 1867 

' My dear fellow, can't you get out of it ? ' 

Morris and I to the Royalty Theatre, Black-eyed 
Susan. M. seldom goes to the Theatre, and is bored a 
good deal. Poor enough fun, indeed. With M. to 
Queen Square. 

July 4. — Queen Square. — Morris and I to West- 
minster Abbey. Deanery, Cloisters — pleasant. 

Wednesday^ July 17. — Lymington. Fine ; hurry 
to steamer. Excursion to visit the French Fleet at 
Spithead. At Yarmouth a large Tennyson party comes 
on board — ^A. T., his brother Charles and Mrs. Charles, 
Hallam and Lionel, two daughters of Fredk. Tenny- 
son, from Jersey, and Matilda T. A. T. and I collogue. 
At Cowes a bustle : the Queen embarking in her 

We see the Fleet at Spithead, ' like Milan Cathedral.' 
Rain comes on. The Queen having reached the French 
Fleet — Ironclads, huge, black and ugly, — royal salutes 
thunder, the yards are manned, but we can see very 
little for the thick weather. Ryde Pier, Tennyson and 
I land, among others ; the ladies ill and draggled. Pier 
Hotel. A. T., Charles T., and I go up High Street 
and out into a field beyond, where we sit on a balk of 
wood, looking at some cows grazing, and A. T. smoking. 
He quotes a sonnet of his brother's about elms and 
calls it daimonisch. We return by lower road and all 
go aboard again, where A. T., Sir Andrew Hammond 
and I dine. The weather still thick with frequent 
showers ; some want to turn homewards without 
running through the Fleet, etc., as arranged. Captain 
Cribb will do whatever the passengers wish, — where- 
upon a debate below. In an interval of silence a deep 
voice is heard grumbling out — ' I know it's not the 
least use my saying anything, but I'm for going back,' 
This was A. T., but the majority were plainly for going 
on, and soon we steamed in the rain close to the dark 
sullen row of huge Ironclads. Then fireworks, and we 
turned homewards. We nestled down near the boiler, 

1867 LYMINGTON 155 

A. T,, Lionel, W. A., and the rest — chatted, asked 
riddles, and so we reached Yarmouth, where they 
landed and I was left lonely again. Got back half an 
hour after midnight. 

July 19. — Writing Rambles. Walk, riverside, 
honeysuckle, scabious, bluebell, ferns, more contented. 

August 5. — Farringford, Bradley, etc. I continue to 
like B. more and more. 

Monday., August 19. — After dinner a thunderstorm 
with rain. Night grows pitch dark. Tremendous 
thunder and lightning for a long time. I put out my 
candle and sit at window watching. The lightning 
over the Island. A thunder-holt apparently falls on the 
mainland eastwards. ' Tremble, thou wretch.' 

Tuesday., August 20. — Hearing that the lightning did 
mischief out eastwards, I cross Ferry, walk to Baddesley, 
and find a two-story cottage burned, only the blackened 
walls left ; the ivy and flowers scorched, and the apples 
on some trees close by roasted on one side. Among a 
heap of half-burnt things, mixed with charred wood and 
ashes, lay some fused photographs of the old daguerreo- 
type sort in metal frames, such as hang on cottage walls. 
The Father stood grave and reserved, a girl, his 
daughter, near him, both seeming stunned. The man 
told me he went to the upper room during the thunder- 
storm and sat down on a chair near the fireplace. 
His wife was in bed, and two sons in another bed. 
Suddenly the lightning darted through the thatched 
roof and down through the floor of the room, and the 
whole place was in a blaze in a moment. Up started 
wife and sons, the feather beds were thrown out of 
window, all rushed out into the rain, and nothing else 
was saved from the fire. I ofi^ered to lend a little 
money, but it was declined. 

This was the work perhaps of the thunderbolt which 
I saw fall last night ; the time fits. I could not find 
that the lightning did anything as lightning save set the 
house on fire ; this it did very effectually. 

156 DORCHESTER 1867 

Friday^ August 23. — Very fine. Steamer 11.40 to 
Yarmouth. Tennyson on the quay, also his brother 
Frederick and two daughters. A. T. is going to Lyme 
Regis alone. 

' 1 have wanted to see the Cobb there ever since I 
first read Persuasion. Will you come } ' 

Can I possibly } Yes, I will ! 

We cross to Lymington. I rush up and make 
hasty arrangements at Custom-House and lodgings ; 
then off go A. T. and I, second class, to Dorchester. 
A. T. smokes. (T. is a great novel reader, very fond of 
Scott, but perhaps Miss Austen is his prime favourite.) 

In our carriage a cockney Clock-winder, who gets 
out at every Station to regulate the Railway Company's 

Once safely incognito T. delights in talking to 
people, but touch his personality and he shuts up like 
an oyster. Ringwood, Wimborne, Poole harbour, 
Wareham (mounds), Dorchester. Walk in the warm 
afternoon, through stubble fields and reapers at work, 
to the grand old Keltic fortress now called ' Maiden 
Castle,' view the great green mounds, and lie on 
a slope looking over autumnal landscape. Then 
descend and return, finding corn-flowers and ' Succory 
to match the sky.' Shall we stay to-night at 
Dorchester } T. vacillates, at last agrees. We go to 
the ' Antelope,' rooms not good — out, and into the 
Museum, up a backyard, — British antiquities, Roman 
pottery, etc. High Street, at its foot a clear little river, 
the Frome. A tipsy cobbler accosts us. Riverside 
walk through meadows. County Jail looks like a 
pleasant residence. Return by back street to the 
' Antelope,' which produces a pint of good port at dinner. 
The twilight being fine I propose that we should visit 
William Barnes, whom T. personally knows, and whose 
Poems in the Dorset dialect T. knows and likes. I 
show the way to Came Vicarage, where I had enjoyed 
hospitality from a Saturday to a Monday a year or two 

1867 LYME REGIS 157 

before. The cottage-parsonage lies in a hollow among 
trees about a mile from Dorchester, separated from the 
public road by a little grass-plot and shrubbery. We 
find the gate by starlight and reach the house door 
between 9 and 10 o'clock. The worthy old Poet- 
Vicar is truly delighted to see us, especially such a 
guest as T. (whose poetry, he used to say, has a ' heart- 
tone ' in it). 

Barnes himself lets us in or comes out at once into 
the passage — ' Here's an honour ! ' Little Miss Barnes 
and Mrs. Shaw, a married daughter, appear. B. says, 
' put out something ! put out something ! ' with hos- 
pitable fervour, tho' we lack no bodily refreshment. 
Barnes himself, by the way, though not a teetotaller, is 
an abstemious man, very plain and inexpensive in his 
diet. We are pressed to stay but can't. Talk of Maiden 
Castle, Irish duns and raths. T. tells his story of his 
car-driver, ' The King of Connaught.' Then we go, 
Barnes with us to near Dorchester, talking of British 
Antiquities, Wareham, Sun-worship, etc. 

Saturday^ August 25. — Dorchester — To Maiden 
Newton — Bridport. We start off to walk to Lyme 
Regis, leaving bag to come by carrier. Uphill, view of 
sea, down to Chidiock, pretty village, old church, flowery 
houses. We push on (as like two tramps as need be) 
along the dusty road to Martin's Lake, sea on one hand, 
shore hills on the other. Down a long hill to Char- 
mouth, where we have beer and cheese in a little inn, 
then T. smokes in the porch and chats to the waitress. 
She says she is from the Isle of Wight. * So am I,' 
says T., — ' what part '^. ' ' From Cowes,' says the girl. 
' I come from Freshwater,' says T., which surprises me, 
— but he revels in the feeling of anonymosity. We 
see Lyme below us and take a field-path. 

Down into Lyme Regis, narrow old streets, modest 
little Marine Parade. ' The Cups ' receives us in the 
fair plump good-humoured person of a House-Keeper 
Barmaid. T. gets a good bedroom and I a tolerable 

158 LYME REGIS 1867 

one ; we go into garden sloping down-hill and out by 
some back steps to a Mrs. Porter's, where the F. 
Palgraves are lodging — not in. 

Back to ' The Cups ' and order dinner ; then by myself 
up steep street to top of the town, pleasant, view of 
shore and headlands, little white town far off. Dinner. 
Then T. and I out and sit on bench facing the sea, 
talking with friendly openness. Marriage, — ' how can 
I hope to marry ? Some sweet good woman would 
take me, if I could find her.' T. says, ' O yes,' adding, 
' I used to rage against the social conditions that made 
marriage so difficult.' 

Sunday^ August 25. — Lyme Regis. Very fine. T. up 
first and at my door. He has been on the Cobb, and 
eats a hearty breakfast. We go down to the Cobb, 
enjoying the sea, the breeze, the coast-view of Portland, 
etc., and while we sit on the wall I read to him, out of 
Persuasion., the passage where Louisa Musgrave hurts 
her ankle. Palgrave comes, and we three (after Manor 
House and some talk of Chatham) take a field-path 
that brings us to Devonshire Hedge and past that 
boundary into Devon. Lovely fields, an undercliff 
with tumbled heaps of verdure, honeysuckle, hawthorns 
and higher trees. Rocks peeping through the sward, 
in which I peculiarly delight, reminding me of the 
West of Ireland. I quote — 

Bowery hollows crowned with summer sea. 

T. (as usual), 'You don't say it properly ' — and repeats 
it in his own sonorous manner, lingering with solemn 
sweetness on every vowel sound,— a peculiar incomplete 
cadence at the end. He modulates his cadences with 
notable subtlety. A delightful place. We climb to the 
top, find flat fields, and down again. Stile and path — 
agrimony — we sit on a bank, talk of Morris, Ned 
Jones, Swinburne, etc. Whitechapel Rock. Then 
return by winding paths to the town. Miss Austen, 
Scott, novel writing. P. counsels me to write a novel. 

1867 LYMINGTON 159 

Inn, dinner, fat waitress, port. In the coffee-room a 
gentleman, who joins in conversation — High Church, 
etc.. State of England, — and speaks well but guardedly. 
T. talks freely — human instincts, Comte, etc. 

We go to Palgrave's, who says, ' thought you were 
not coming.' They smoke. When T. and I are walk- 
ing back to the Inn he takes my arm, and by and by asks 
me not to go back to Lymington. I (alas !) have to 
reply that I must. ' Well then,' says T., ' arrange your 
business there and come back.' I doubted if I could. 
' Is it money } ' says he, — ' I'll pay your expenses.' 
Most delicious ! that the man whose company I love 
best should care about mine. Most mortifying ! for I 
am tied by the leg. 

Wednesday^ August 28. — Lymington. Letter from 
M. D. Conway, ' on a little tour of the South Coast — 
coming to Lymington with New York Tribune man to 
visit you and try to persuade you to go to America.^ Letter 
from Howell, at Hastings, giving an account of his 
Wedding. Letter from Palgrave (dry) : ' Tennyson 
asks me to say he hopes you will join us at Moreton 
Hampstead — Dartmoor — au revoir.^ 

August 30. — Yacht Mirella. Faraday is gone. 

Monday^ September 2. — Very fine. Pay pensioners 
— Train 2.30 brings Conway, but not his Tribune 
friend. Secure him a bed at the ' Nag's Head,' then we 
walk out by Pennington. Talk much of Emerson — 
Magazine-writing, etc. Letter from D. G. Rossetti ! 
' Shall I come to you } ' I reply, ' Yes, by all means.' 

Sunday^ September 8. — Very fine. D. G. Rossetti 
coming to-morrow. Read his Early Italian Poets. 

Mem. — Use him nobly while your guest. 

Wednesday^ September 11. — Rainy. By 8.40 even- 
ing train behold D. G. R. ! he wears a ventilating hat, 
something like a policeman's helmet, in which he looks 
short and broad, having grown stout. We have supper 
and sit up talking till three. He has been troubled with 
his eyes, but has brought down an unfinished picture, 

i6o LYMINGTON 1867 

half-length female figure, intending to paint in back- 
ground of roses. 

Thursday^ September 12. — Very fine. My landlady 
grumpy — ' didn't tell me of the gentleman,' etc. I 
explain. We walk by the river-side to Roydon Farm, 
path to Brockenhurst Church. Crown Inn. Rail to 
Lymington. Dine 7 ; Bed about i. He had thought 
Lymington to be on the very edge of the Forest. 

Friday, September 13. — D. G. R. and I walk out to 
Rope Hill, and Captain Barton shows us beautiful roses 
and offers us some for the picture — a very kind man. 
R. and I to Shirley Holmes and lie in the grassy circle 
surrounded with oaks, hollies, etc., pierced with little 
green alleys and tunnels, a fit place to act the Midsummer 
Night's Dream in. We talk of the Forest Gypsies ; this 
is one of their camping places. D. G. R. has some 
notion of taking lodgings at Lymington. 

Saturday, September 14. — Call D. G. R. He has 
not yet opened his Picture case, so I undo the fastenings. 
He finds that none of Captain B.'s roses are exactly of 
the kind for him ; he wants the fresh-coloured loose- 
leaved China rose. 

I to Custom-House and then call at the Skinners, 
Walk with Skinner, Q.C., and two daughters to Arne- 
wood. The knowing and experienced talk of the 
eminent lawyer makes me feel small. 

I find D. G. R. on the sofa, has not been out, nor 
looked at his picture, but been reading The Mill on the 
Floss all day. 

Sunday, September 15. — Call D. G. R. Registered 
letter with bank notes, etc., ^\^^ : los. — for 'copy' 
of Lilith. We write letters. Howell has proposed to 
come here, R. writes to him, ' Come if you will.' Out 
about 1.30 ; R. and I call at Pennington Cottage, and 
young Skinner joins us. Milford Church — congregation 
in it, but D. G. R. and S. go in all the same, take a look 
and come out again — path, millpond, cliff, sea ; delight- 
ful view. We talk of Home and other ' Spiritualists,' 

1867 LYMINGTON i6i 

about whom D. G. R. has at the least a curiosity. 
Back by Keyhaven and the Marsh. We are late, but 
D. G. R. wont hurry. He says in a conclusive tone : 
' I never do anything I don't like.' Dine 6.30. We go 
down and look at the river by moonlight. Bed about 2. 
I argue that Maggie TulUver's lover Stephen is made 
too mean and commonplace : R. doesn't agree. 

Monday^ September 16. — Have had several pressing 
notes from Mrs. Cameron to come and bring D. G. R. 
to her — ' photograph you both.' 1 ask him will he 
come to-day. Decidedly, ' No ! ' We walk through 
Sowley Copse and lie under an oak by the pond-side, 
reed-beds. R. says, ' You ought to have been a land- 
scape painter. You notice everything.' (Sometimes to 
the length of boredom, perhaps he meant.) 

Then to Norley and the cottage burnt by lightning- 
stroke. The scorched walls and trees remain much as 
when I saw them. An old woman, who had been in the 
house when it took fire, told us she was ' all skivered 
with sparks.' R.'s comment on the whole was this — 
' What a damned world where such things can happen ! ' 
In the garden was a little clump of box dipt into 
the form of an arm-chair ; R. wanted to buy this, have 
it dug up and transplanted to his garden at Chelsea, but 
the bargain did not take effect. The live chair tickled 
his imagination. (He afterwards got a similar box-bush 
chair transplanted to his garden, but it soon died there.) 
September 17. — I try to get R. over to the Island and 
coax him as far as the pier, but it is rather windy, and 
he entirely objects to be sea-sick, and doesn't want to 
see either Mrs. Cameron or Tennyson. He takes no 
interest whatever in the sea, ships, boats, etc. We go 
by 1.45 train to Brockenhurst and walk by Whitley 
Wood to Lyndhurst — see Leighton's fresco in the church. 
Returning, we go over a roomy cottage-villa on the 
roadside, 'To Let,' with a garden behind, and Rossetti 
says in his emphatic tone, ' I think I had better take it 
at once ! ' 


ib2 LYMINGTON 1867 

Wednesday^ September 18. — Fine — D. G. R. and I 
walk, to Boldre Church, Gilpin's tomb and its inscription ; 
we talk of ' immortality,' but nothing new, and of 
' suicide,' which R. thinks ' silly.' There are traces of 
superstition noticeable in him, none of religion. Back 
by Pilley and Walhampton House. I visit the 
Skinners : they are going to Arundel. Young Skinner 
walks back with me. We find D. G. R. on the sofa. 

Thursday^ September 19. — R. and I look round the 
furniture brokers, he buys an old mirror and several 
other things ' for a song,' but they will have to be done 
up, ' otherwise you fill your house with dinginess.' 
Then a walk. R. walks very characteristically, with a 
peculiar lounging gait, often trailing the point of his 
umbrella on the ground, but still obstinately pushing on 
and making way, he humming the while with closed 
teeth, in the intervals of talk, not a tune or anything 
like one but what sounds like a sotto voce note of 
defiance to the Universe. Then suddenly he will fling 
himself down somewhere and refuse to stir an inch 
further. His favourite attitude — on his back, one knee 
raised, hands behind head. On a sofa he often, too, 
curls himself up like a cat. He very seldom takes 
particular notice of anything as he goes, and cares 
nothing about natural history, or science in any form or 
degree. It is plain that the simple, the natural, the 
naive are merely insipid in his mouth ; he must have 
strong savours, in art, in literature and in life. Colours, 
forms, sensations are required to be pungent, mordant. 
In poetry he desires spasmodic passion, and emphatic, 
partly archaic, diction. He cannot endure Wordsworth, 
any more than I can S. He sees nothing in Lovelace's 
' Tell me not. Sweet, I am unkind.' In foreign poetry, 
he is drawn to Dante by inheritance (Milton, by the 
way, he dislikes) ; in France he is interested by Villon 
and some others of the old lyric writers, in Germany by 
nobody. To Greek Literature he seems to owe nothing, 
nor to Greek Art, directly. In Latin poetry he has 

1867 LYMINGTON 163 

turned to one or two things of Catullus for sake of the 
subjects. English imaginative literature — Poems and 
Tales, here lies his pabulum : Shakespeare, the old 
Ballads, Blake, Keats, Shelley, Browning, Mrs. Browning, 
Tennyson, Poe being first favourites, and now Swin- 
burne. Wuthering Heights is a Koh-i-noor among 
novels, Sidonia the Sorceress ' a stunner.' Any writing 
that with the least competency assumes an imaginative 
form, or any criticism on the like, attracts his attention 
more or less ; and he has discovered in obscurity, and 
in some cases helped to rescue from it, at least in his 
own circle, various unlucky books ; those, for example, 
of Ebenezer Jones and Wells, authors of Joseph and 
His Brethren and Stories after Nature. About these 
and other matters Rossetti is chivalrously bold in 
announcing and defending his opinions, and he has the 
valuable quality of knowing what he likes and sticking 
to it. In Painting the Early Italians with their quaint- 
ness and strong rich colouring have magnetised him. 
In Sculpture he only cares for picturesque and grotesque 
qualities, and of Architecture as such takes, I think, no 
notice at all. 

Friday^ September 20. — D. G. R. and I take a short 
walk to Pennington, then early dinner, and he departs 
by the 5.45 train, I going with him to Brocken- 
hurst. He did up his picture again without having 
put a single touch upon it ; and while down here indeed 
never once handled brush or pencil, partly to save his eves. 

September 30. — Custom -House accounts. French 
lesson from M. Meurzet. 

Tuesday^ October 8. — Steamer to Yarmouth. To 
Mrs. Cameron's, Henry Taylor, and his daughter Emily. 
Luncheon. To Farringford, and walk with A. T. to 
near Alum Bay. He thinks ' England is going down ' 
— ' Christianity becoming extinct ? There's something 
miraculous in man.' ' There's more in Christianity 
than people now think.' 

Publisher P. and rumours of insolvency, etc. 

1 64 LONDON 1867 

Friday^ October 11. — To London — Waterloo at 3. 
Cab to Chelsea, being invited to stay with D. G. R. 
Well received ; Dinner in lower room, Fanny, Howell, 
Madox Brown — Howell's stories, himself an actor in 
all (' actor ' in the stage sense) ? He was at York 
once at the time of a Convocation of Clergy, he had an 
uncle an Archdeacon, and was allowed to dine with the 
Clergy one evening, including several Bishops : ' They 
all got drunk,' said Howell with historic simplicity. 
Queer stories, such as Sir Robert Walpole used to 
encourage. In the evening Dunn, R.'s assistant and 
copyist. All sit late and supper being suggested, 
Howell and Dunn go down to the kitchen and bring 
up meat ; H. says he ' saw a mouse eating a haddock ' 
downstairs. 3 o'clock, R. goes to bed, Howell and 
Dunn go out in the rain to look for a cab, Madox Brown 
and I wait, sleepy, in hall — cab at last. 

Saturday, October 12. — Studio — Sibyl (with roses), 
Iseult, etc. ; D. G. R., F. Call at Ned's and walk with 
him in the Park : soppy and foggy. 

Monday 14. — Note from Froude about Swift paper 
for Fraser} Evening, with D. G. R. to Ned's. R. 
lolls and runs down Raffael, Ned and Webb remon- 
strate. No music. R. and I walking back take wrong 
turn — ' This is bl — y ! ' He is very fond ot this expletive 
— as well as other phrases (F. sometimes says, ' Rizetti, 
I shall leave the room ! — I'll put you out in the scullery ! ' 
etc.). Lounging chat till i or 2, with rusks and 

Tuesday, October 15. — Garden ; fierce Virginian owls 
which dash against the bars of their cage to get at you 
as you turn away : other creatures. Taylor's estimate 
of Household Expenses ('for Greengrocer, ^58,' and 
so on), ending with, ' This does not include Wild Beasts.' 
I sit over proofs all day in the big room — post them. 
Call at Morris's, ' out of town.' At Mrs. Rossetti's, 

^ Allingham's paper, afterwards published in his volume of Varieties 
in Prose. 

1867 LONDON 165 

Euston Square. The dear old lady looking strong 
still, with her handsome full-coloured face and rich- 
toned voice of sincere and touching intonations. She 
says nothing clever but it's always a pleasure to be near 
her. Miss R., Christina, and Miss Heaton. Mrs. R. 
expresses her pleasure at Gabriel's having visited me, 
thinks it has done him good, talks as if 1 were a sort 
of Mentor to him, which makes me feel rather ashamed. 
Away, rain, cab to Fitzroy Square ; upstairs, Madox 
Brown, Mrs. B., Lucy, in green dress, Katty, young 
half-sister with fair hair ; Marshall, Dunn. Piano, 

Wednesday^ October 16. — Call on Ned ; Italian 
Model, a peasant woman — at Mr. Simon's. Call 
on Froude. Back to Chelsea, then D. G. R. "^and 
I to the Cafe de I'Europe, Haymarket, where we 
meet Ned and dine. Ned goes, R. and I walk to 
Queen's Square, Morris out. On the way I buy (for 
I OS.) an old painting on panel, 'Virgin and Child,' ^ 
which R. says is ' Flemish, before Rubens, Porbus 
time.' Cab to Euston Road, to Taylor's lodging. 
T. Morris, Webb, D. G. R. lounges. I say the rhyme 
about ' There's a louse on my back Twenty years old ! ' 
(which I heard Tennyson give). Morris repeats it with 
furious emphasis and gestures, making us all shout with 
laughter. Poor Taylor — tall, with eager hatchet face 
— is ghastly thin but full of mental energy — vociferates, 
then must stop to cough. ' Won't go away this winter.' 

Cheyne Walk — call at Carlyle's. When the door 
opens, see him in the passage ; he says in an angry voice 
— ' Go away, sir ! I can do nothing with you.' I go 
away, with reflections many and black. What can it 
mean } 

Call on Froude at Record Office, make up, and 
renew FrajdT agreement in a way. He says 'Byron 
was the greatest man of the century — greater than 
Alfred ' {i.e. A. T.). I tell of Carlyle's rebufl^ which 

1 Now in Mrs. Allingham's possession. 

1 66 LYMINGTON 1867 

surprises him ; says he has strange moods. Cheyne 
walk, D, G. R. and I (not like old times). 

Thursday^ October 17. — Cheyne Walk, pack up, R. 
lolling on the bed ; cab to Waterloo — train to Lymington. 

N.B. — Very kind letter from Carlyle — did not 
know me that day I called ; ' must blame my poor old 
eyes. Allingham's company would have been very 
welcome to me,' How I have tormented myself! 

November 11. — Lymington. Evening, reading 
Rousseau with M. Meurzet. Newsroom, Waterside. 

Thursday^ November 14. — Gloomy day. Carlyle's 
'Shooting Niagara' — object to parts. Carlylus Tyrannus. 

Friday^ November 15. — Fine. Poetry again — in 
spite of T. C. 

Walk, Walhampton Hill, Portmore firs, hedges, 
ferns, yellow oakleaves, harebells, children sweeping 
up fallen leaves. Ferry. 

Monday y November ic^. — Fine gray day ; Mrs Clough 
has written to say she is coming, I meet her at 1 1 . 1 7 
train and cross with her to Island : with her, her little 
Blanche Athena, dark-eyed, pleasant, sweet little mouth. 
At Yarmouth the Tennyson carriage. Farringford, 
luncheon. A. T. on ' the Fenians.' Prince Consort's 
Book, the Queen's autograph inscription — 

'Alfred Tennyson, Esq., 

Who so truly admired and appreciated the character of her 
beloved Husband. Victoria R.' 

Tuesday, November 26. — My last visit to London 
was an unhappy one. In art, and still more in life, R. 
and I have discords not to be resolved. Should we 
ever have been or supposed ourselves such friends in 
early days if we had lived constantly near each other ^ 
Has he changed ^ If I have I am not aware of it. ' I 
loathe and despise family life ! ' he said. 

I long and pray for it — and O, how the years slip 
away ! The only comfort is, ' You might have made a 

1867 FRESHWATER 167 

mistake, an irremediable one — and it's not too late even 
yet ! ' The ' Curtis ' Ballad. 

Tuesday, December 24. — Steamer ; Parry ^ meets me, 
we walk by muddy path and copse to Hook Hill : his 
wife and baby (3 days old), both well ; luncheon. Take 
up my quarters with Mrs, Curry at Myrtle Cottage, then 
to Farringford with Parry. I introduce him to Mrs. 
Tennyson. He soon retires. A. T. comes in with Sir 
John Simeon. I go up the Downs alone, to Beacon ; 
wide sea, misty landscape, western light, melancholy. 
Myrtle Cottage — dine at Farringford, no guests. T. 
rages against the Fenians — ' Kelts are all mad furious 
fools ! ' 

Irish landscape — 'I saw wonderful things there — 
twenty different showers at once on a great expanse — a 
vast yellow cloud with a little bit of rainbow stuck on 
one corner ' (T. swept his arm round for the cloud and 
then gave a nick in the air with his thumb for the bit 
of rainbow) — ' I wish I could bring these things in I I 
was travelling in Kerry through a great black landscape 
— bogs. A lady beside me asked how I liked the 
country ; I said, it might be greener ; to which she 
replied indignantly, " And where then would the poor 
man cut his bit of turf V ' 

Away at 1 1 to Myrtle Cottage. 

Wednesday, December 25. — Parry's ; walk with him 
to sea-side, black rocks, breakers ghostly white, light at 
sea. Back with him, tea. His childhood, etc. We walk 
along the dark road to Albion Hotel, Mr. and Mrs. 
Murrow personal acquaintances of C. P. P. tells of 
his tribulations when his wife was confined. No bed, 
lay down by a fire and went to sleep, wakened by 
woman putting on pots and kettles ; went into another 
room and fell asleep by the fire, wakened by some one 
putting on pots and kettles there ; went out, nearly 
asleep, and lay down in a passage, wakened by the 
Doctor wiping his boots upon him, at which the 

1 Clinton Parry, son of Gambler Parry, the architect. 

1 68 LYMINGTON 1867 

Murrows laugh. Walking back P. explains to me 
that Murrow (a Welshman) is ' a high Freemason ' — 
* He doesn't call me " Sir " when we're alone. If you're 
a Mason your Servant may be a higher Mason than 
you. Garibaldi head of the Italian Masons, which 
added greatly to his power. L. Napoleon a High 
Mason, etc' 

Has Freemasonry any real importance in the world's 
affairs ? or is most of this mythical .'' 

Friday, December 27. — Myrtle Cottage, fine, misty. 
Farringford. T. in his big cloak on lawn. 

' Poe on metres — he knows nothing about them.' 

Tauchnitz — T.'s poems smuggled in ; T. complained ; 
Treasury letter, ' the public complain of much search- 
ing.' Boys at football. Cold wind, fog, gray ; slender 
moon in the west, and Venus. Myrtle Cottage. To 
Farringford. Dine in the study — jokes and puns — 
after dinner, pleasant talk. 

T. — ' We remember Summer Walks in Winter, 
Winter in Summer.' 

T. reads the newspaper into metre. 

T. says : ' Boys become beasts for a time — no con- 
science : I don't know what it means, 

' I hate publishing ! The Americans forced me into 
it again. I had my things nice and right, but when I 
found they were going to publish the old forms I said, 
By Jove, that won't do ! — My whole living is from the 
sale of my books.' 

He went upstairs by himself. When he came down 
again spoke of Greek Poetry, — ' The Odyssey the most 
delightful book in the world. Blank verse is the only 
English metre to translate Homer in, and even that will 
not do. Lofty Scriptural prose would be best.' 

Of Latin Poetry he said, ' Virgil's is the most 
finished of any ; Catullus is exquisite ; Lucretius wonder- 
ful, but much of him hard and tiresome to read, and 
very obscure.' Away — stars — Bed about i, 

Saturday^ December 28, — Myrtle Cottage, cold, hoar- 

1867 FRESHWATER 169 

frost, misty. Farringford, Lionel and his fiddle. 
Henry Cameron comes, for rabbit-hunting. I walk to 
Yarmouth, pretty byroad to shore, hartstongue ferns, 
a primrose in bloom. Quay, Hallam with carriage and 
ponies. Cold, foggy wind, gray sea. Steamer comes 
in with Woolner and Mr. W. G. Clark of Cambridge. 
We three walk off by shore and byroad. Show them 
primrose — ' The rath primrose that forsaken dies.' 
T.'s lines : — 

the gloomy brewer's soul 
Went by me, like a stork : 

Why ' Stork .'' ' Clark says because the Stork was 
an antimonarchical emblem. 

To Farringford. At dinner Mr. Clark talks of 
Rome, Greece, foreign travel (pleasant life). T. 
denounces publisher P. Says he is trying Hebrew. 

' Do you (to Clark) know any Hebrew .? ' 

C. — ' Only the letters.' 

T. — ' Exactly ! the priests can't read their own 
sacred books.' 

C. (rather disconcerted). — ' The New Testament I 
can, more or less.' (One forgets that C. is a Rev.) 

Monday^ December 30. — Dine at Farringford. T. 
discourses on ' Maud ' : I make him laugh by misquoting 
lines about the shell, thus — 

' Did he stand at his own front-door 

With a diamond stud in his frill ? ' 

Tuesday^ 31. — Myrtle Cottage — fine. Take leave 
at Farringford and at Mrs. Cameron's. Steamer to 
Lymington, Custom-House, resume charge ; lodgings 
— no dinner — all in confusion — 'not expected' — 
Christmas Tree in Kitchen ; make the best of it and 
give a picture to the lottery. Look over Midsummer 
Night's Dream. No feeling about the Old Year, save 
of depression. 



January i. — Lymington. Pay pensioners. Engaged 
to go to Lyndhurst to-day. 5.45 train to Brocken- 
hurst, Aide's carriage, Forest Bank, A. and Mrs. A., 
dinner at 7. Then to Sir Charles Burrard's. We read 
the Midsummer Nighfs Dream, which goes well. 

Monday, January 20. — Fine ; walk to Pitt's Deep — 
vernal and pleasant ; Coastguard station. Beautiful 
Sowley Copse — men destroying it by order of Lord 
Henry Scott, since he finds he cannot close up the foot- 
path — what a noble action ! 

Tuesday, January 2 1 . — Fine ; Steamer brings Mr. 
Cameron, white-haired Mrs. Prinsep, etc., for London. 
I go with them as far as Brockenhurst, pleasant. Walk 
to Lyndhurst, vernal, call at Miss Dickson's, poorly ; 
friendly chat. She says, ' I thought you surly at first, 
— like you now, — thrown away at Lymington.' Hurry 
to Brockenhurst, hot, catch train. Dine 7 — rain — 
sleep better. 

Wednesday , January 11. — Rainy. Sir Percy Shelley 
runs after me, and takes me aboard his yacht En- 
chantress, pleasant chat with Lady Shelley: 'Come to 
us to-morrow evening, if we're not gone.' Street — 

Thursday, January 23. — Fine, frostyish ; Enchantress 
gone. Walk, Pennington, etc. 

Monday, February 3. — To London — very fine day. 


1868 LONDON 171 

Mr. Burnett at Custom-House ; away 1.45. Clapham 
Junction ; lovely evening, moon, Jupiter and Venus. 
Lavender Sweep — friendly welcome as ever. Talk 
with Tom Taylor. 

A Comedy in hand, For Love or Money ; Mrs. T. 
writing it from Tom's dictation ; they do some this 

Tuesday, February 4. — Lavender Sweep, called at 
7.30 ; WyclifFe, Lucy — Breakfast. In with T. T. to 
Victoria. National Gallery, Egyptian Hall, Dudley 
Gallery. Bond St., Mrs. Cameron's Exhibition of 
Photographs, in charge of a pretty Brunette (Miss Kate 
Shepherd) with sweet smile. Lavender Sweep — dinner. 
Evening, T. T. dictating comedy, Mrs. T. writing, I 
suggesting sometimes. Sleepy, yet awake in the night. 

JVednesday, February 5. — Fine but windy. Walk 
through old Wandsworth, like a country town, to 
Putney, where are some large Georgian houses. Call 
on Arthur Hughes, whose house faces the river, most 
friendly. Arty, a pretty boy, little boy, girl. 

Studio, pleasant chat ; yard, children feeding two 
tame deer. A. H. walks with me to near Clapham. 

T. T.'s, dress to dine at Conway's — find them at 
dinner on the basement floor, Mr. and Mrs. C. and 
Mr. Smalley, European Correspondent of New York 
Tribune — lively chat. Then to Peter Taylor's, an 
evening gathering. Conway and I walk, fine starry 
night. Bed at his house ; lie long awake. 

Friday, February 7. — Lavender Sweep — rail to 
Chelsea, cab to Onslow Gardens and breakfast with 
Froude, Mrs. F., two daughters, governess ; chat. 
Study, where he has his cigar — State papers on Ireland, 
praises my prose style. I feel awkward with him. 
Call at Miss Thackeray's, close bv ; find her writing — 
very friendly. Mrs. Cameron's Exhibition — ' I blew 
the trumpet for it in the Pall Mall.' 

Enter Mr. Leslie Stephen, tall and pale. Away 
(pleasant). Call on Carlyle at 3. Find him in upstairs 

172 LONDON 1868 

room, cap on, smoking. He talks of the Ballad of 
Tranent Muir^ by Skirving, then takes me out with him 
to walk, Hyde Park, Bayswater, and back. 

' Leigh Hunt a fine kind of man. I used to read 
the Examiner with much interest when I was living 
down in Scotland. Some used to talk of him as a 
frivolous fellow, but when I saw him I found he had a 
face as serious as death.' I asked C. if he dreamed 

' Dreams ! my dreams are always disagreeable — 
mere confusions — losing my clothes and the like, 
nothing beautiful. The same dreams go on night after 
night for a long time. I am a worse man in my dreams 
than when awake — do cowardly acts, dream of being 
tried for a crime. I long ago came to the conclusion 
that my dreams are of no importance to me whatever. 

' Ireland — education at National Schools, not good, 
what I saw of it, except at Glasnevin. To teach read- 
ing and writing is not education : little good will follow 
from that. I used to think almost every good would 
follow from that. You must teach work^ you must 

' Criminal classes : I went with a Colonel of the 
Guards to Whitechapel to see some of the dens, a few 
policemen with us ; it was very melancholy, the places 
were not dirty in general. The police know all the 
regular rogues. In one place we heard some girls 
laughing behind a screen ; I said in a rather loud voice, 
" God pity you ! " upon which they suddenly fell silent. 
We seemed to give no offence where we came ; but 
one woman, tipsy, said to one of our policemen, 
*' You're showing us to the Gentlemen, but if they want 
to see the greatest rascal in London they'll take a look 
at yourself, you — unmentionable ! " which I thought 
to be not far from the truth.' 

C. spent three days on the Grand Jury at Clerken- 
well, over trivial cases, ' a great loss of time.' 

' Your " Ramble in the New Forest " very pretty and 

i86S LONDON 173 

pleasant, the only thing in the Magazine I could read. 
But you are rather losing your time. Go on with your 
book on Ireland, I advise you.' 

Back at 5 Cheyne Row, we find a carriage at the 
door and a demonstrative man in the hall, who exclaims, 
' So I have found you ! ' 

C. asks me to come again. I propose Sunday, my 
only free day, but he says ' engaged on that day,' and 
adds, ' it is unfortunate ' — evidently regretting that we 
cannot meet again this time, as I also assuredly do. 
(To-morrow I am engaged to lunch at Browning's.) 
Over Battersea Bridge and up Pig Hill. Lavender 
Sweep. Dinner — very sleepy, yet cannot sleep much. 

Saturday^ February 8. — To Warwick Crescent. 
Browning in his study, with proof sheets of his new 
edition in six vols. 

Tennyson and the Magazines ; The Spiteful Letter^ 
B. said, ' I like the kind tone of it, but I think it gives 
a wrong view about Fame. What absurdity to say, 
" Wait a little and all will be past ! " You cannot say 
that of anything in life. 

Our echoes roll from soul to soul 
And live for ever and for ever. 

I like that better ! ' 

Then we sat down to a luncheon-dinner. R. B., 
Miss B. and self. B. said the Secretary of the A. Club 
had posted his name as a defaulter, tho' the subscription 
had been duly paid by his banker. ' I'll come down on 
him like thunder ! It's not good to have the reputation 
of being an easy-going man. I'll ask him how this 
blunder came? "Blunder, sir.'*" he says — upon which 
I open fire ! ' 

B. shows me, in bird's-eye view only, the MS. of a 
new Poem to be printed in July. 

I go, meaning to walk to Chelsea and call on 
Rossetti. R. B. says he will walk with me and seems 
inclined to come on and see R. ' How long will it take .^ ' 

174 LYMINGTON 1868 

We cross Kensington Gardens, but opposite S. Kensington 
Museum R. B. finds he can't come further. — ' Give my 
love to Rossetti.' I give up Chelsea and walk towards 
Fulham ; find the Grange with some trouble, Ned J., 
Mrs. J., Mr. W. — dinner, pleasant chat. Mr. W., 
learned in such, sings old Italian music by Stradella and 
others. Baby Margaret. Pleasant House and large 
garden. Very friendly. Catch train. Lavender Sweep 
— the T. T.s not in yet. 

Monday ^ February 10. — Very fine. Lavender Sweep, 
walk, Clapham Common, pretty. Train to Lyming- 
ton. Custom-House, relieve Burnett and take up old 

Wednesday^ February 12. — Very fine. Walk, EfFord 
Copse, first primroses ; the Island blue, sweet air, 
thrushes. Dine — out. Stars — from some bird a 
sudden single gush of song : a night-warbler } Spiritual 
Wives — StufF ! 

Tuesday ^February 18. — Browning's 'Sludge,' etc. 

Mem. — Too often a want of solid basis for R. B.'s 
brilliant and astounding cleverness. A Blot in the 
''Scutcheon is solid. How try to account for B.'s twists 
and turns } I cannot. He has been and still is very 
dear to me. But I can no longer commit myself to 
his hands in faith and trust. Neither can I allow the 
faintest shadow of a suspicion to dwell in my mind 
that his genius may have a leaven of quackery. Yet, 
alas ! he is not solid — which is a very different thing 
from prosaic. A Midsummer Night's Dream is as 
solid as anything in literature ; has imaginative cohe- 
rency and consistency in perfection. Looking at forms 
of poetic expression, there is not a single utterance in 
Shakespeare, or of Dante as far as I know, enigmatic 
in the same sense as so many of Browning's are. If 
you suspect, and sometimes find out, that riddles pre- 
sented to you with Sphinxian solemnity have no answers 
that really fit them, your curiosity is apt to fall towards 
freezing point, if not below it. Yet I always end by 

1868 FRESHWATER 175 

striking my breast in penitential mood and crying 
out, ' O rich mind ! wonderful Poet ! strange great 
man ! ' 

Thursday^ February 20. — Lymington. Walk, EfFord, 
poor little moles executed, hanging on twigs. Talk 
with the Gamekeeper, who is considerably like Carlyle 
in person : Grouse — pheasants. 1 try to explain 
something of Darwin's researches. Keeper's dog has 
to be trained to fly at a man, so as to be ready for 
poachers : ' I likes a good savage dog,' 

Tuesday^ March i 7. — Windy. Steamer to Yarmouth, 
walk to Farringford, A. T. friendly. His visit to 
Cambridge ' delightful,' 

' What a dream of bliss to an Undergraduate, to 
have lodgings and board for half a week at the Lodge ! ' 

Upstairs, wt^ window in corner of study : ' have 
desired it for years, sixteen years — done while I was 

Thursday^ March 19. — Birthday. Begin sad ; grow 
cheerfuller. C. Parry and wife from Island ; a great 
rainbow. Tea at F. St. Barbe's. 

Saturday^ March 21. — More cheerful again, but 
Emma vexatious. O for a house of one's own ! 
* Mary ' — ' Squire Curtis.' ^ Sleep better. 

Thursday^ April 9. — Cross to Freshwater ; Mrs. 
Norman (Mrs, Cameron's daughter), with her husband 
and children. He is of Baring Brothers. ' His God- 
father,' Mrs, C, said, 'gave him ^100,000 one 
morning,' as a little surprise, Farringford — A, T. on 
lawn, friendly as usual : ' Come to-night.' 

Miss Thackeray asks me to dinner ; Fitzjames 
Stephen coming to-morrow.' 

Friday^ April 10. — Good Friday — Mrs. Curry's, 
Miss Thackeray's : Fitzjames Stephen, tall, burly, 
pleasant, the 'makings' of a judge, as we say in Ireland; 
plain in dress. 

To Farringford by field-path. Miss T., Fitzjames S. 

1 AUingham's poems. 

176 LYMINGTON 1868 

and I — beautiful sunlit prospects, Yarmouth in the dis- 
tance, gleaming river. They go in — I flee. Luncheon 
at Miss T.'s. We find A. T. and walk to the Beacon ; 
meet one stranger, at sight of whom A. T. nearly 
turns back. 

Lincolnshire stories. Preachers : ' Coom in your 
rags, coom in your filth, Jesus'll take ye, Jesus won't 
refuse ye.' 'Time has two ends, and the Law cooms 
down wi' a bang ! ' ' Glory ' a very favourite word. 

Lincolnshire manners. ' One of my brothers met a 
man in the lane near our house and said in a friendly 
voice, "Good-night ! " to which the man replied, "Good 
night — and dom you ! " I asked a man one day, " Do 
you know what o'clock it is ? " he answered, " Noa ! and 
I don't want to." ' 

Grace said by Dissenting Minister according to the 
nature of the feast. If a poor one, he snivelled and 
sneered in a thin voice, ' O Lord, bless these miserable 
creatures to our use,' etc. ; if a good spread, he rolled 
out in unctuous tones : ' We desire to thank Thee, O 
Lord, for all these mercies Thou hast provided for us.' 

April 2 2^. — Lymington. Launch of a yacht. Walk 
to Sowley Pond. Lord Henry Scott, after trying 
illegally to close the Path (charming shady short-cut 
from the dusty road) and failing, has now cut down 
the trees and grubbed up all the hazels and hollies, 
and left it a path through a bare field. Oaks lying 
on the ground, piles of oak bark. The Magistrates 
decided against his claim to shut the Path, the Judges 
at Winchester decided against it, and now, instead of 
humbly apologising, his Lordship does this ! 

Monday, May 4. — Fine. Cross to Yarmouth. 
Servant girl says, ' I took your advice, sir, not to go to 
London ' ; had forgotten it, but it was good advice — 
wonder whether my habit of talking with everybody 
ever does real good ^ Perhaps. 

Yarmouth, The King's Head, Mary Blandford, 
drawing beer, gives me a lily of the valley ! Beer not- 

1868 LONDON 177 

withstanding, a ladylike girl. Over Bridge, Golden 
Hill with gorse in bloom (whence the name ?), nightin- 
gale singing. Myrtle Cottage : yes, Mrs. Curry can 
give me a room. Farringford — Mrs. T. just going to 
drive, invites me into carriage, Mrs. T., Mr. Lecky 
and I, Hallam on the box. We go by Afton and 
near Brook. 

L. does not see any use in knowing Authors 
personally. In fact personality does not interest him 
in any case, I suspect. We don't agree, evidently. 
Still, we agree to get on our legs and walk back 
together over the Downs. Ireland is low now (he 
thhiks), intellectually : Tyndall her best representative. 
He greatly admires Macaulay, also Buckle. Knows 
Carlyle, but seldom if ever agrees with him. Dean 
Milman stands high in L.'s estimation, ' a learned man 
and very liberal, etc' 

Joke (Milman's ?) — ' Churchmen may be divided 
into Platitudinarians, Latitudinarians, and Altitudi- 
narians.' I proposed to add ' Denarians,' i.e. loaves 
and fishes men, but the vowel is changed. 

Friday, May 15. — Having got leave of absence, I go 
to London, 

May 18. — To 16 Onslow Gardens to accept Miss 
Thackeray's invitation. Find her with John Leech's 
daughter Ada, thirteen, in black, very tall and slender, 
with large eyes, long hair, full lips, looking sad : (Miss 
T. as usual the Samaritan). Miss T. with proofs of a 
story. ' Give it a name,' she says : ' Balm of Gilead ' 
suggested. Invited to Mrs. Barnard's for this evening. 
' I don't want to go,' says Miss T., and we all sit on in 
a dim light, talking peacefully. 

Tuesday, May 19. — 18 Neville St. To 16 Onslow 
Gardens. Breakfast 9.30, Miss T., Mrs. Stephen ; warm 
day. With Leslie S. to Mrs. Brookfield's ; children's 
party. Magdalen B., large fair girl of seventeen ; second 
Miss Halle in blue, merry ; younger, Hke a Vandyck ; 
May Sartoris ; Margery and Annie T., shy, I carry 


178 LONDON 1868 

Annie ; Enter Miss Thackeray, Mrs. Marshall. Mrs. 
Brookfield asks me to stay, and a merry joyous feast it 
is, seven lively girls, the children at a long table — a picnic 
indoors. Upstairs and dance Sir Roger, May S. and 
I ; then a reel. She is going to a Ball to-night, this 
is merely a w^het. Back to Neville Street, and with 
Miss Thackeray and Mrs. Stephen to Mrs. Procter's. 
Mrs. P., daughter Edith. Old Barry Cornvs^all, an 
indistinct and almost mute figure, sitting on the landing ; 
Robert Browning (who asks me for Friday) and his 
sister ; Samuel Laurence, Leighton, etc. Box of cab 
— 16 Onslow Gardens. 'Do have something! but O, 
everything is locked up by Justine, and she's gone to 
bed ! So Good-night.' 

Thursday^ May 21. — 18 Neville St. Cab to Albe- 
marle St. and breakfast with Lecky. Books on Witch- 
craft, etc., and on Ireland. Rooms very quiet, no look- 
out, has them from year to year : Christianity — morals, 
pagan and mediaeval. 

Meet Palgrave, ' choosing a picture' ; civil, walk with 
him to York Gate : ' stay and dine ^ ' yes. 

To Prince's Gate, Mr. Huth, Mrs. and Miss H., 
various guests, including Miss Thackeray and her sister. 
Library, gorgeous and rare books ; all the early editions of 
Shakespeare. Mr. H. unlocks and lets me handle some. 

To Mrs. Barnard's, South Eaton Place. Madame 
Sainton-Dolby, Miss Ingelow. Little Miss Parr, who 
writes novels as ' Holme Lee,' looked nice in a high 
dress of lavender silk, like a quiet little old-maidish 
governess. Miss Thackeray accosted her, and so did 
I ; we spoke of the Isle of Wight, New Forest, etc. 
' London fatigues me,' she said : ' going to Dulwich 
to-morrow.' As we drove home Miss Thackeray 
exclaimed of one of the guests ; ' Horrid woman ! she 
said to me, " I have been much pleased with some of 
your efforts," and, *' You must have felt leaving that 
nice house in Palace Gardens ! " but little Holme Lee's 
a duck.' 

1868 LONDON 179 

May 11. — Breakfast with Froude, 5 Onslow Gardens 
— wife, two girls, little boy : Ireland, English cruelties, 
massacre of women and children on Raghlin Island, 
Sorley Buie looking on from mainland — ' he tore and 
tormented himself,' Library : F. speaks of my Fraser 
articles, says ' Carlyle has a greater regard for you 
than for anybody almost.' Cab to Browning's, invited 
to luncheon. R. B. (grayer). 

Tennyson, the Magazines, Morris's Earthly Para- 
dise^ etc. 

' We ought to take up the ball at the furthest point 
to which it has been thrown. I should be sorry to 
think that any one was in advance in any way of me in 
my new Poem.' Perhaps not quite knowing what to 
say I remarked bashfully : — 

*I have always been a believer in you,' or to that effect. 

R. B. — * I am glad to believe that, for your own 
sake among other things.' 

When he went out, I stayed for a chat with Miss 
Sarianna. ' Robert, after writing Pauline, went to 
St. Petersburg, overland, in connection with a diplomatic 
mission, expenses only paid, and returned the same way 
after six weeks' residence at St. Petersburg. He saw 
the breaking up of the ice on the Neva, and the 
ceremony of declaring the river open.' 

Away — passing through Leicester Square, meet 
Alan Skinner, and walk with him in the flower avenue 
of Covent Garden, talking of the Home trial, the Eyre 
case, etc. Then we dine at Bertolini's pleasantly. I 
show him the local curiosity, old Mr. Seymour, now 
eighty-two, who has dined here every day for the last 
forty-three years : he comes at 5, stays till 8, sits 
always in the box on the left-hand of the fire-place as 
you go up the room, which is kept for him at this 
time of day ; has the joint, college pudding, a gill of 
Marsala ; puts his feet up and sleeps or snoozes for 
about twenty minutes, then reads the Daily News, 
fidgeting a good deal with the paper, for his hands 

i8o LONDON 1868 

tremble. Finally he puts on hat, buttons coat up to 
the throat, straightens his spine and walks down the 
middle of the room very stiff and wooden, driving off, 
the waiter says, to his house somewhere near the 
Regent's Park. I should mention that when he comes 
in every evening the waiter who receives him invariably 
says, ' Good evening, Mr. Seymour : you are looking 
very well this evening, Mr. Seymour.' Looks like a 
solitary old bachelor, lawyer or attorney, dried up, 
penurious ; the daily tavern dinner a sort of loophole 
glimpse of the outside world. Save a word or two to 
the waiters he never speaks to any one at Bert's. 
Skinner departed and 1 went into the Alhambra and 
see some good dancing, but the opera-glass is a terrible 
disenchanter. Next me a bald civil quiet gentleman 
with his wife and daughters. Leotard on the ' trapeze ' 

May 25. — Lavender Sweep. To evening party at 
Halle's. Mrs. Brookfield and her daughter, Mrs. and 
Miss Sartoris — Leighton, Aid6, etc. — Santley, Titiens, 
Trebelli (charming), Bettini, her husband, like a 
German. Strauss plays violin. 

I heard to-night some of the best music in London. 
Did it enchant or even delight me } No. A grand 
musical party is neither concert nor home-music ; and 
besides, few public singers know how to sing in a 
private room. 

May 26. — Lunch at Browning's. Talk runs chiefly 
on his forthcoming new Poem in many thousand lines. 
He takes me into his study, and shows me the original 
Book, a small brown quarto, printed account of the 
trial of Count Guido, with some original MS. letters, 
stitched in at the end pleading for his respite. B. 
bought it off a stall in Florence for a few pence. He 
has told the story over and over again to various 
friends ; offered it to A. Trollope to turn into a novel, 
but T, couldn't manage it ; then R. B. thought, ' why 
not take it myself.'' ' 

1868 LONDON i8i 

' I began it in rhymed couplets, like Laurence 
Bloomfield^ but thought by and by I might as well have 
my fling, and so turned to blank verse.' 

At luncheon he went over the headings of the 
chapters or books into which this very long Poem is 
divided. ' And now ! can you advise me.'' I'm puzzled 
about how to publish it. I want people not to turn 
to the end, but to read through in proper order. 
Magazine, you'll say : but no, I don't like the notion 
of being sandwiched between Politics and Deer- 
Stalking, say. I think of bringing it out in four 
monthly volumes, giving people time to read and 
digest it, part by part, but not to forget what has 
gone before.' 

Wednesday^ May 27. — Lavender Sweep ; very fine 
— 11.30 to Clapham Junction and take train to Epsom 
to see the Derby Race. Only one other person in my 
carriage, young man from Southport near Liverpool. 
Epsom, people on road, carriages crawling through 
clouds of dust. Gypsies, etc. Sit on grass at Totten- 
ham Corner and see first race without trouble. Then 
down course and stand at rails opposite Grand Stand. 
A pocket picked, dirty man accused, who says in candid 
matter-of-fact way, ' I ain't got it.' 

To Queen Square, to dine with Morris, and find, 
just alighting, Mrs. Ned in a gorgeous yellow gown : 
'tis a full dress party ! and I in velveteen jacket. Morris, 
Ned J. (thin), D. G. R. (looking well), Boyce (' has been 
ill'), F. M. Brown (oldened), Webb, Howell, Mr. 
Wilfred Heeley, Publisher Ellis, and W. A. (ten men). 
Mrs. Morris, Miss Burden, Mrs. Ned (gay), Mrs. 
Howell, Mrs. Madox Brown (looks young with back 
to the window), Lucy Brown, Miss Faulkner (I 
between these), Mrs. Ellis, Miss Heeley (ten ladies). 
Banquet, — ' Earthly Paradise,' I suggest, and Ned writes 
this atop of the menu. A storm of talking. I away 
with D. G. R. about i ; walk first, then cab to Cheyne 
Walk, in and stay chatting and lounging till 3 in old 

1 82 LYMINGTON 1868 

fashion. ' Come to-morrow, and we'll go up together 
to my mother's.' 

I walk to Lavender Sweep in daylight, passing some 
revellers from Cremorne, and to bed about 4. 

June 8. — To Carlyle's about 3. He is writing, but 
soon comes out for a walk. On the door-step we find 
Sir Charles Dilke and Hepworth Dixon come to solicit 
C.'s vote for the former. C. does not ask them in, and 
on hearing their errand declares briefly, ' I never gave a 
vote in my life,' whereupon they depart. He talked 
to me of Parliament and its absurdity, and how foolish 
for any man to desire to sit night after night for many 
hours in an ill-ventilated room, listening to the most 
tedious stuff, etc. etc. I took leave of him at Albert 
Gate, ' going back to Lymington to-day.' 

He said in shaking hands, ' You won't walk many 
more times with me^ which made me sad. 

June 20. — Lymington. Coach to Freshwater, Mrs. 
Cameron's ; long wait for lunch. Mrs. C. and her 
household take no note of time. Meet girls going up- 
stairs in fancy dresses, Mrs. C. has been photographing 
a group, and appears carrying glass negative in her 
coUodionised hands. ' Magnificent ! to focus them all 
in one picture, such an effort ! ' 

Enter Sir John Simeon with Mr. Austin Bruce (M.P. 
for Merthyr-Tydvil). Sir J. presses me to go back 
to Swainston with him. I hesitate, then agree, and we 
walk off over the Downs. Dine at 8 — they talk of 
Parliament behind the scenes : Dizzy often vinosus — 
one evening he spoke in such a state (keeping his legs 
with much difficulty) that Sir J. S. feared a public 
scandal, and was in pain for the credit of the House. 
{N.B. — Simeon is no scandal-monger.) 

Monday^ July 20.- — Hot. Tennyson and Mrs. T. 
on the steamer, 1 with them to Brockenhurst. ' To 
London, the dentist ; then Scotland.' T. said of 
Longfellow, ' A very gentlemanly man : seemed very 
tired. We had ten at luncheon. They slept at the 

,868 LYMINGTON 183 

hotel, stayed two days. Little King Theodore of 
Abyssinia now at Farringford with Captain Speedy. 

* Longfellow — I didn't compliment him — told him 
I didn't like his hexameters : he rather defended 

We spoke of Swedenborg : T. says his Hell is 
more striking than his Heaven ; praises Hinton's book 
on Man and Nature. The up-train ; T. shakes my 
hand warmly. It is always 'a real happiness to see him. 
I walk to Queen's Bower, its brook and oak tree, back 
by pretty path through New Park, and in by train. 

Wednesday^ July 11. — Mrs. Cameron has a standing 
and, I fear, incurable pique against me for not recognising 
Henry Taylor as a great poet. Most gladly do I, any- 
where, at any time, recognise a great poet, but I cannot 
do so at second hand. Philip Van Artevelde is a 
solid piece of work, with both form and substance ; 
but, tho' written in verse, is the impression it leaves 
more poetical than that left by Ivanhoe^ say .? The 
* Literlude,' called The Lay of Elena, is a cultivated 
effort, entirely out of place ; nothing can be more 
modern in style, a mixture of Wordsworth, Coleridge, 
Campbell and Henry Taylor, — the latter contributing a 
certain pompous stiffness which he takes for dignity. 
There is no magic in H. T.'s pen, whether it write 
blank verse or rhyme. Rossetti much admires the two 
snatches of song in the second part of Philip ; — they 
have, for one thing, the flavour of quaintness which his 
palate requires. ' Quoth tongue ' is pithy and pathetic, 
but as to 

Down lay in a nook my lady's brach, 

how on earth came a lady's brach hunting in a 
pack of boarhounds ^ and this first line is in itself 
almost enough to justify a verdict against the writer 
of — ' No lyrical ear ! ' What born Balladist but would 
have said — 

Down in a nook lay my lady's brach ? 

1 84 FRESHWATER 1868 

August I o. — Steamer to Yarmouth and coach to 
Freshwater. Lunch at Mrs. Cameron's ; Dr. Hooker 
of Kew, Mr. Erasmus Darwin, his niece, Miss D. Dr. 
Hooker is writing his Address as President of the British 
Association, to meet this year at Norwich. He comes 
with me to Farringford, where we find A. T. on the 
lawn, sitting at a small table with books and tobacco. 
Walk round garden, the three of us, Dr. H. giving the 
names of various plants as we go along, ' Kuyphofia,' 
etc. Tobacco plant about seven feet high — ' never saw 
so fine a one in the tropics.' 

August II. — To Freshwater ; engage bedroom over 
little shop, and to the Darwins. Dr. Hooker in lower 
room writing away at his Address ; going to put ' Peter 
Bell's ' primrose into it and wants the exact words. 
Upstairs Mrs. Darwin, Miss D. and Mr. Charles Darwin 
himself, — tall, yellow, sickly, very quiet. He has his 
meals at his own times, sees people or not as he chooses, 
has invalid's privileges in full, a great help to a 
studious man. Dr. Hooker and I to Plumley's Hotel 
(where he is put up) ; T. and Hallam come in, and T. 
calls me ' an ass ' for not taking a bed at Farringford. 
1 to little shop, — and then to Farringford. After 
dinner come in Mr. Erasmus Darwin, brother of 
Charles, an old bachelor and invalid, living in London ; 
Mrs. Darwin, and second Miss Darwin ; also Captain 
Speedy, six feet and a half high, who has pleasant 
manners. He talks of Abyssinia^ — -the churches there, 
religion, slaughter of animals, the Trinity. The 
Hindoos and Beloochs ' wept for Theodore.' 

Little Alamayu (means ' I have seen the world '), 
Theodore's son, is here at Freshwater in Speedy's 
charge, by the Queen's wish. The little prince has a 
native attendant, a young man who is devoted to him. 
Speedy the other day overheard them amusing them- 
selves by mimicking English people. Attendant comes 
up in the character of an English lady, shakes hand — 
' How you do ^. ' 


Alamayu replies — ' How you do ? ' 

Attendant. — * How you like this country ? ' 

Little Prince. — ' Ver' mush.' 

Attendant. — ' Ah ! you like ver' mush ' — and so on. 

T. complains of hotel charges, especially in England. 

I say — ' They ought to let you go free, as a Poet.' 

T. — ' They charge me double ! and I can't be 
anonymous (turning to Mrs. Cameron) by reason of 
your confounded photographs.' The party breaks up 
about twelve, ' an orgie,' T. calls it. He comes out 
with me and we wander some distance. Jupiter and a 
half-moon in the sky ; talk of immortality. I go back 
with him and find the door locked ! He rings and says 
' My wife will come,' but a servant woman comes. 
Nobody guessed he was out. 

August 12. — Freshwater. Pack bag, to Farringford. 
Breakfast in the study, the boys pleasant ; Lionel back 
from bathing ; A. T., letter from America for auto- 

Mrs. T., ' Lionel going to Eton.' She dislikes 
Darwin's theory. I sit in study : A. T. teaching 
Hallam Latin — Catiline. 

Charles Darwin expected, but comes not. Has 
been himself called ' The Missing Link.' Luncheon. 
Then T. and I walk into croquet -ground, talking of 

' What I want,' he said, ' is an assurance of im- 

For my part I believe in God : can say no more. 

Friday^ August 21. — Mrs. Cameron's: Captain 
Speedy opens the door. Little Alamayu, pretty boy, 
we make friends and have romps, he rides on my knee, 
shows his toys. His Abyssinian attendant. They dress 
to be photographed by Mrs. C, the Prince in a little 
purple shirt and a necklace, Captain Speedy in a lion-skin 
tippet, with a huge Abyssinian sword of reaping-hook 
shape (' point goes into your skull '). Photograph- 
ing room — Speedy grumbles a little, Mrs. C. poses 

1 86 LYMINGTON 1868 

them. Photograph of Mrs. Tennyson's maid as 
' Desdemona.' 

Sunday ^ August 23. — Kind note from Miss Thackeray, 
to which I reply. (Suggest possible match between 
Alamayu and little Margery— future Queen of Abys- 

Saturday^ August 29. — To Esher (by invitation from 
Mrs. Howitt). Arrive at ' The Orchard,' a pretty homely 
cottage, where William Howitt, sturdy and white-haired, 
welcomes me from the open window. Then Mary 
Howitt, looking gray and worn, I am shown to my 
trim little bedroom, adorned with various Christian 
emblems. Outside, three tall poplars shoot up into 
the blue sky. 

Monday^ August 3 1 . — Good-bye. William Howitt to 
the station with me and sees me off. Good people the 
H.'s, but we should not long agree in the same house. 

Stop at Basingstoke and walk into the town ; dullish, 
snug houses with trim gardens. At Brockenhurst find 
Aubrey de Vere, going to Freshwater, much talk till 
he goes off in steamer. 

Thursday, September 3. — Freshwater. Very fine. 
Lionel and I on ponies, a gallop on the downs. 

Hinton's Life in Nature (praised by A. T.). 

I walk to Yarmouth, cross to Lymington, Custom 
House, and back in the afternoon to dine at Farringford. 
Dinner : A. T., Mrs. T., Lionel, Mr. Digby (tutor), 
De Vere, and W. A. 

De Vere — his talk of Catholicism, eloquently vague, 
sliding into Newmanism and Jesuistry, The T,'s mildly 
dissentient, I getting angry. T., De V. and I went 
out under the stars ; I flared up at last and asked De V,, 
' Do you yourself entirely believe the account given by 
the Roman Catholic Church of God and man } ' 

De V, — ' I believe it all as surely as that I tread this 
ground and see those stars.' 

W. A. — ' And I don't believe one atom of it.' 

Tennyson. — ' You have no point of contact, then.' 

1868 LYMINGTON 187 

De V. and I walked off m the moonlight and said 
good-night at Plumley's ; he going on, he said, to walk 
upon the down. 

Friday, September 4. — Freshwater. Mrs. Carter's 
lodging. Very fine and sunny. To Farringford, meet 
William with the ponies. Breakfast, then out to 
croquet-lawn, sit in shade, reading odd numbers of a 
Conservative magazine. A. T. comes, friendly ; says, 
' I saw a beast watching me ! I saw his legs behind 
the ilex.' 

September 20. — To Farringford. — Tennyson. — Is 
writing his ' San Grail.' 

' I'm spoiling it. Will you take a turn '^. ' — then we 
talk on Hinton's book, and on his brother Charles's 
Sonnets. ' All is not chemistry and matter.' 

We look at ducks and pigs. Little Alamayu sits 
on my knee and looks at a book of animals. Zebra 
especially interesting to him : that is the Abyssinian 
name of the beast. The Elephant he calls 'zoon.' 

T. said he had a rich cousin who drank hard and 
talked loud. ' He used to quote Byron to me — 

Over the waters of the dark blue sea — 

and so forth, adding, " Poets have some sense." ' He 

offered to lend me Castle B for our wedding 

month — 'will you come down to B .'' then you 

may go to Hell ! ' 

A. T. then went upstairs and dulness set in. 

September 26. — Vestiges of Creation. Depressing 
scientific views of life. Call on foreign gentleman — Mr. 
Quintinella, a Brazilian : Brazil, Paraguay, Spain, etc. 

Thursday.^ October 8. — Fine ; walk to Brockenhurst, 
lonely. Dine 7 — rain — out. Magee is made Bishop 
of Peterborough, reflections thereupon ; when we met 
at Ballyshannon he was a curate, and we stood on a 
social level. But would you like to be a Bishop ? 
Would anything induce you to be a Bishop } 

Saturday, October 10. — To Southampton. Lunch 


at Dr. Bond's ; then with a party to the New Forest — 
Miss Webster, Mr. and Mrs. Hankin, etc. Swan-Green, 
Queen's Bower, rich red sunset through the trees ; old 
oak and brook hke old friends now, yet how little they 
care for us ! This longing for Nature to return us some 
friendship, some affection, created Naiads, Dryads, and 
Oreads. Yet how should a Poet turn back to these ? 
and what then is he to do nowadays with his faculty of 
imaginative song ? Cross Ober or Over-Green and 
pick some Butcher's-Broom. 

October 1 1 . — Very fine. Irish topography. Natural 
History. Walk, Norley Wood : lakes of mist on 
Beaulieu Heath. 

October 12. — Dissatisfied : life slips by — to what 
purpose ^ Lindley on plants. Walk to Keyhaven by 

October 15. — To Freshwater. Miss Thackeray at 
St. John's Cottage, with Marjorie and Annie, and 
maid Justine. Guests — Frederick Walker, the artist, 
small, compact, jockey-like figure, large bluish eyes, 
short but thick brown hair combed down over his fore- 
head ; his small hand gives you a sinewy grip. 

Miss Emma Irving, Captain Irving from India. We 
have games with the children — fishing for mermaids 
with gingerbread, etc. 

Call at Terrace and find there Mrs. Ritchie and 
three daughters. To Mrs. Cameron's where we all 
dine (though the poor woman has a bad cold and her 
husband and Ewan are in bed) at two round tables 
put together. Ladies go. Men talk of billiards, 
Sayers and Heenan, etc. Professor Owen's true ghost 
story of the nigger's head falling out of a medical 
student's bag, hopping down a steep street (in Lan- 
caster .''), and bumping against the door of a man who 
had been a slave-dealer, and who, seeing it, was near 
frightened to death. Story of parish clerk who in 
parson's absence essayed to console a dying parishioner. 
* He was a bad chap, your Reverence.' * And what 

i868 FRESHWATER 1 8 9 

did you say to comfort him ? ' — ' I told him he was 
sure to go to Hell, and that he ought to be thankful to 
have a Hell to go to.' 

October 16. — Saw little Alamayu in the road; tv/o 
of the De Havilland children came up, whom he kissed, 
and then came the snuffy old Postman with his bag, 
and the little Prince kissed him too — partly, perhaps, as 
an important functionary who often bears tidings of 
interest. Breakfast at Miss Thackeray's, enlivened by 
the children. Walker is going on with a little picture 
of a Girl watering flowers. 

Walk to Yarmouth and cross to Lymington ; back 
in the afternoon ; roughish sea and coldish on the 
coach. Myrtle Cottage. Dine at Miss Thackeray's ; 
the Miss Ritchies, F. Walker. Talk of George Eliot, 
etc. F. W. and I have cigarettes, and then to 
drawing-room, where I read aloud Shelley's Sonnet 
' Being your Slave,' and Leigh Hunt's ' Abou Ben 
Adhem.' We fall to drawing pigs with our eyes shut 
and dawdle away time till 12 o'clock. 

October 17. — Freshwater. To breakfast at Miss 
Thackeray's. To Farringford. A. T. and 1 down the 
lane ; call at Miss T.'s, where they are at luncheon ; 
then at Mrs. Cameron's. He says, as we approach 
her house : ' Mrs. C. (using the initial, as he often 
does) is so gushing ! ' She presently justified this by 
saying fervently to T., while we spoke of F. Walker, 
' His soul is at your feet ! ' Says T., ' I hope his soles 
are at his own feet.' We go to the shore with the 
Ritchies ; T. throws a stick into the sea for dog to 

Mem. — I doubt if holds poetry in any honour, 

or poets as such. I sought A. T. and worshipped him 
as the well-head of an enchanting river of song : charm 
of personality and surroundings came in addition, a fine 

setting to the priceless jewel of his genius. , I 

imagine, admires the poetry mainly because she admires 
and loves the man. 


Monday^ October 19. — Cross to Yarmouth. We 
find the Tennyson carriage at Miss Thackeray's ; 
Mrs. T. asks the ladies, ' Will you take compassion 
on him ^ ' that is, allow A. T. to walk with them ; and 
they do consent. A. T, comes accordingly, and we 
walk off (Mrs. R., Miss Augusta, Miss Emily, Nellie, 
Miss Annie Prinsep, A. T., and W. A.) down old road, 
by Afton Park fence, field-path through turnips to 
Afton Down, see the barrows (ancient burial mounds), 
cross the rough new military road, and by path to shore ; 
geology — Wealden ; so on to Brook Point and the 
fossil trees. T. (enjoying the girls' company) says : 
' If I could take a walk like this every day I shouldn't 
be tired of Freshwater.' 

I mentioning Yarmouth, he turns quickly on me : 
* A rhyme to Yarmouth } quick, quick ! mustn't think ! ' 
' Charmouth ' the only perfect rhyme that occurred. 
On the rocks an unknown demoiselle, to whom A. T. 
ofi^ers his hand to help her over some slight difficulty. 
She did not seem to know who he was. 

Thursday^ October 22. — Lymington. Walk to Setley, 
and find gypsies encamped. Coming back I overtake 
a little girl carrying with difficulty two bags of sand, 
and just as I am asking how far she is going, up 
drives Rev. P. F. in his gig, who offers me a lift. I 
say, ' Help this little girl with her two heavy bags,' 
upon which his Reverence reddens and drives off. I 
carry one of the bags. 

Monday, October 26. — To Forest Bank, and (on 
suggestion of Aide) call on La Marchesa Taglia-Carne, 
who has taken the place for a time. She has been a 
widow more than twelve months. 

October 28. — A. and E. Ritchie by steamer, with 
them to Brockenhurst, and show the old Church. 

Walk alone into Forest, among coloured trees : 
Whitley Wood, Gretnam, Tollgate, back by brook- 
side, among beautiful beeches ; spindle tree seeds ; 
maple yellow like a ripe quince. 

1868 BOSCOMBE 191 

Daily News, 'Leigh Hunt Memorial — Browning 
in the chair.' 

Evening, moonlight. Moliere. 

November 2. — Invited to Miss Dickson's. Pay 
pensioners. Kind Miss D. in her pretty rooms, but 
* not well,' — I wish the good soul could be well. Out 
and walk in the dusk on Boldrewood Road, sunset 
fading, dark trees, owls do cry. Already a drift of 
withered leaves. Return and see, like a pale smoke, 
the moon-dawn mounting. At dinner with Miss D. 
and self, only Mr. Darwin, son of Charles Darwin. 

Tuesday y November 3. — Lyndhurst. To Meet of 
the Foxhounds at Bolton's Bench, carriages, horses, 

November 5. — Assembly Rooms, Election Meeting. 

Sunday ^ November 1^. — Gray. Cheerfuller. Received 
from Robert Browning by post Vol. I. of his new Poem, 
The Ring and the Book. 

Friday^ December 4. — Call on old Kirkwood, 
pensioner ; hands crippled, cheerful face and voice, 
cheerful heart to all appearance : tended by his old wife. 
What is the secret of the cheerfulness of old poor 
sick folk .'' Complete resignation the basis of it "? 

Wednesday^ December 9. — Christchurch ; Boscombe. 
Lady Shelley, luncheon, Sir Percy. Upstairs, cast of 
Shelley monument at Christchurch. Bust of Mary 
Wollstonecraft, bust and oil picture of Mrs. Shelley 
— ' the noblest of creatures (says Lady S. to me), 
entirely unselfish. I knew her before I married Percy ; 
I was with her when she died. She lay ten days 
motionless and speechless, only sometimes opening her 
eyes wide. When she died, / felt sure Shelley was in 
the room. Her look of joy was indescribable. Shelley's 
daughter lanthe was brought up by low church clergy- 
men, according to the wish of her Aunt Eliza ; she 
was married to Mr. Esdaile, a squire, once a sporting 
man, and her children have been brought up in Low 
Church Calvinism. She visited us here at Boscombe : 

192 BOSCOMBE 1868 

before she came she wanted to bargain that her father's 
name should never be mentioned in her presence or 
her children's, but this 1 refused to agree to. She 
came to us, but when we gave a children's party she 
would not let her children be present. She had prayers 
or a religious service with them every evening, lasting 
two hours. One day I left her alone in the Shelley 
room, with the portrait, hair, books, letters and other 
memorials of her father. She stayed a long time, and 
when she came out I saw that she had been weeping. 
She promised to send me some early poems in MS. in 
return for a copy of the portrait ; but after she got 
home she drew back from this, and I have not sent her 
the copy which I had made for the purpose : there it is.* 

Take leave and walk to Christchurch, Sir Percy along 
with me half the way. Dismal road, empty barrack, 
wretched suburb. Station ; the ugliest old little English 
town 1 have seen, spite of a river and a Minster. 

Commercial man in train describes Bournemouth 
as * a rdtten place ' commercially. Brockenhurst, train 
gone, got back to Lymington in a butcher's cart. 

Saturday^ December 12. — Sir Percy Shelley's steam- 
yacht Nokken at Inman's Quay, steward calls to invite 
me. I find on board Sir P., and in the cabin Lady S. 
and Miss ' Flossy ' Gibson. Engraving of Shelley for 
me. We start, rather cold — Cowes, we put off in a boat. 
Sir P. and a sailor row us in, and drive to Woodvale, 
a semi-marine house with gables and a hall. Dinner — 
music, drama, Norway, etc. Drawing-room, Norwegian 
book with picture of ' Leerfossen,' my cousin Thoning's 

Sunday^ December 13. — I walk into Cowes by road 
near the sea, then upper road, muddy lanes, Floating 
Bridge, then wide road with streets and villas, and the 
rails and gates of Osborne House. I venture to ask 
the dignified porter if one might walk a little way into 
the park, to which he replied mildly and calmly, ' On 
no consideration, sir.' 

1868 LONDON 193 

Monday^ December 21. — 1.45 train to London. 
Lodging at 44 Hans Place. 

Tuesday^ December 22, — Tom Taylor at Richmond 
Terrace, friendly as usual : ' all well — come to us on 
Christmas Day ' ; gives me card for Picture Galleries, 
see Wallis's Exhibition in Pall Mall. 

Thursday^ December 24, — Call on Carlyle, ' out.' 
On Froude, who is friendly, praises the Rambles. 
On Miss Thackeray ; Mrs. Stephen, Marjorie, 
Annie, Nellie Ritchie and brother : Christmas Tree. 
Hans Place, — and to dinner at No. 1 9 : Mr. 
Planche, with old, comic wrinkled face ; Mr. Walter 
Cassell, good looking, kind, somewhat choice in 
manner and voice. Ouida (Louise de la Ramee), in 
green silk, sinister clever face, hair down, small hands 
and feet, voice like a carving knife ; also her mother. 
At dinner puns and jokes : Ouida silentish. The ladies 
go to the drawing-room, upstairs, and when after an 
interval we follow them we hear, before the door opens, 
a voice going on inside like a saw, and on entering find 
Ouida saying, in loud harsh tones — ' women are un- 
generous, cruel, pitiless ! ' Planche, taking refuge on 
an ottoman with a face expressing humorous alarm, 
' God bless my soul ! I think they're angels — I adore 
them — they're the best half of the world.' 

Ouida, with severity, — ' I entirely disagree. The 
woman nearly always leads the man astray,' etc. etc. 
' Woman can't be impersonal.' 

Mr. Cassell philosophises on the subject, rather 
materialistically. Ouida departs, after inviting Planche 
and me to visit her at the Langham Hotel, where she is 
biding at present with her Mother and an immense Dog. 
She carries a portrait of the latter round her neck in a 
locket, which she detached after dinner and handed 
round for inspection, with the remark, ' This is my 
hero' (perhaps the hero of one of her books). She 
asked somebody present ' Have you read my last 
book.?' — 'Not yet.' 


194 LONDON 1868 

' But you must read it, you know ! ' 

She said she had found America ' a mine of wealth ' 
to her, in the payments for her novels. 

Friday^ December 25. — Miss Thackeray's at 1.30, to 
luncheon : Leslie Stephen and his wife : ' Come next 
Sunday.' L. S.'s ' earliest recollections connected with 
Kensington Gardens, The Yew Wood, seemed very 
solemn' — America — Emerson — Authoress of Charles 
Auchester. L. S. likes Lowell. 

Saturday^ December 26. — To Froude's to luncheon. 
Then to Carlyle's at three, shown upstairs, where I see 
The Ring and the Book, part read, a Frederick snuff- 
box, blue and gold, photographs of Mrs. Carlyle, 
Biographie Universelle^ Revisal of Miscellanies going 
on for Library Edition, ' volume in hand.' 

Enter Carlyle, friendly ; we walk to Kensington 
Gardens. The Ring and the Book ' a curiously minute 
picture of Italian Society : not poetry at all.' 

Dine at Tom Taylor's : — we go in to Ella's, to 
a small music-party. Ella gives an abstract of a story 
with musical illustrations, and is most vivacious and 
amusing, as well as an attentive host. Then he gives 
us part of William Tell. He overflows with anecdotes 

of musical celebrities whom he has known. Miss , 

who is dull and evangelical, one day expressed herself 
shocked at E.'s vanity and frivolity, ' and at his age ! ' 
I defended him, liked to see age cheerful, and thought 
Ella had given much pleasure to others — and so he has. 
So-called vain people, not fools, are usually amiable, 
they wish to please. 

Sunday, December 27. — Cab to Warwick Crescent, 
to lunch by invitation with the great Robert. After 
luncheon — Shelley, the drowning of S. — ' not in his right 
senses — in the moon. Another man who lives in the 
moon is Sir George Bowyer. I called on him to ask 
some questions about Romana Homicidiorum Lex for 
my book, but as to intelligible answers — you might as 
well ask a butterfly to fly straight across this room ! 

1868 LONDON 195 

He referred me to an Italian friend of his, who was ten 
times worse than himself.' 

We go into the Study — small back-room looking 
on balcony and back-green below, still talking of The 
Ring and the Book, and R. B, asks me plump ' How 
do you like it ? ' to which I return praise, and for the 
present (with uneasy conscience) nothing but praise ; 
don't know how to set about criticism, especially with 
but half of the Poem as yet seen. B. again shows me 
the original Book, and translates to me the letter of the 
lawyer, de Archangelis, written on the day of the execu- 
tion, saying, among other things, ' Guido is lamented 
for by all respectable people.' 

B. praises his own poem — ' It's admirable ! I've 
ever so much more to tell,' 

Shows me proofs of ' Pompilia ' ; also two rings of 
pure gold, very soft ; Castellani of Rome makes them. 
He gives me Volume II. of The Ring and the Book, re- 
marking, ' Your first volume was one of six only. I 
gave one to Gabriel Rossetti. I should like to give 
to Morris and Ned Jones and William Rossetti. The 
Athenaeum notice is good.' We walk out, — still talk 
of The Ring and the Book : ' a builder will tell you 
sometimes of a house, " there's twice as much work 
underground as above," and so it is with my poem. 
Guido's not escaping better, man won't give him post- 
horses ; the Pope, as Providence ; Guido has time for 
confession, etc' We part. I sit in an arbour and read 
the first pages of ' Tertium Quid.' 

To Hans Place, then walk to 12 Earl's Terrace, 
Kensington, to dine with Du Maurier, 6 p.m. D. M. 
in brown velvet coat, Mrs. D. M. in light robes ; 
Poynter, T. Armstrong, and another. Children, little 
girl on my knee, sturdy boy : talk, animals — 
swallows, etc. 

' Ned Jones doing most wonderful things — three 

Old Ballads — my Ballad Book. 

196 LONDON 1868 

D. M. on his fear of blindness. 

Monday^ December 28. — To Cheyne Row (heavy 
rain). Parlour : 'Scotch lassie,' niece of Carlyle, lives 
at Dumfries, has never been to London before, been 
here about three months (,?)^ — National Gallery, the 
Titians, etc. Speaks gravely and sensibly. Enter 
T. C, very friendly and famihar : ' Go up, sir, to that 
place there (drawing-room), and we'll see what can be 
done.' A yellow gleam shows through the rain as we 
go upstairs. Portrait of Landor on the stairs. 

We started on our walk, passing through Hans 
Place in a shower of rain. He spoke of his own writ- 
ings — ' they gave me much trouble. I brought them 
into the world with labour and sorrow, and I must 
reckon most of them but small trash after all. Ay, 
there's far too much dogmatism going : English funeral 
service, for example. The Scotch way is better in that. 
People write to me to try to bring me to Christ — ah 
me ! If the Universe grinds me to nothing, I will hold 
that to be best and say " Not my will but thine be 
done." I don't pretend to understand the Universe — 
it's a great deal bigger than I am. The Darwinian 
Theory tried to meddle with things that are out of 
man's reach : and besides — I don't care a straw about 
all that ! People ought to be modester.' 

In answer to a remark of mine one day Carlyle 
blazed up — ' Write my autobiography } I would as 
soon think of cutting my throat with my pen-knife 
when I get back home ! The Biographers too ! If 
those gentlemen would let me alone I should be much 
obliged to them. I would say, as Shakespeare would 
say to Peter Cunningham, " Sweet Friend, for Jesus' 
sake forbear." ' 

Tuesday^ December 29. — Return to Lymington. 

December 31. — Fine. Walk to EfFord, sunset. 
Evening, Methodist chapel. Watch Night. 

1 Mary Carlyle Aitken, afterwards Mrs. Alexander Carlyle. 



January i. — Lymington. Write to various friends. 

March 31, London. — Carlyle. — Insomnia. The Ring 
and the Book. 

C. — ' A set of people who cannot see over Browning 
are determined to see in him all sorts of things.' 

April. — Saw, one of these days, the Siamese Twins, 
old and withered men. They were, by rumour, one 
of the marvels of my childhood. 

May 6, London. — To Albemarle St., and break- 
fast with Lecky — his Morals^ Morley's attack in 
Fortnightly . I attack Lecky for civility to Dogmatism 
and talk rather sharply. He sees much on both sides ; 
abhors the Utilitarians. He says, ' I began to write 
in the usual way, with Poetry, and was much dis- 
appointed to find my poems unnoticed, I believed in 
them very strongly.' He gives me a book of his called 
Religious Aspects of the Present Tifne. When I point 
out some of the evils of Dogmatism, L. says, ' These 
things are a great comfort to ignorant people ' ; at 
another time he argues, when I press him as to orthodox 
dogmas, ' practically these views are now inoperative.' 

Contradictory .'' or is it that he thinks it better for 
the less ignorant to make believe as to all these ' views,' 
for the sake of comforting the ignorant ? 

L. tells me he was ' intended for the Church,' to which 
I reply, ' You would have been a Bishop.' 



He is a man of probity and intelligence, reads 
diligently and remembers accurately ; but our minds 
are not in touch — differently constituted as well as 
differently trained. 

May 7. — Dine at Bertolini's, and see old Mr. 
Seymour in his accustomed corner. 

May 9. — Mrs. Clough's. 20 Eaton Place, — Lady 
Simeon, Venables, etc. 

May 16. — Lymington. Mrs. S.'s — Table turning. 
Mrs. S. attacks my want of faith. ' We know^ etc., 
' cerebration,' etc. (what can one say in such case ? and 
silence offends). We try a table, and it does tilt and 
knock and spells out a message to myself, ' You will 
be much loved' (!) after which it runs about, we 
dodging it up and down. What tiresome nonsense ! 

Tuesday^ May 25. — Lymington. Invitation from 
Mrs. Tennyson for to-day to meet ' Mr. and Mrs. Fields 
and Miss {Biglow Papers) Lowell.' 3 o'clock steamer, 
I find them on board and introduce myself. Low 
water, land in boat, show the Americans the old George 
Inn, and the quaint little lock-up ; their delight in old 
houses, ivy, etc. pleasant to see. Dinner 6.30, brisk 
chat. Mr. F.'s stories of Thackeray in Boston — ' all 
the Lecture tickets sold. Then I can't do less than 
put my feet out of the cab window,' and he did so. 
Big oyster — ' feel as if I had swallowed a baby.' 

Wednesday^ May 26. — Farringford. Lovely view 
from bedroom window, over the trees Hurst Castle, 
Solent, and England. Birds singing. 

I had the great pleasure of accompanying Miss Mabel 
Lowell in her first walk in English fields. There were 
only us two. A Daisy was one of the first marvels, and 
while she gathered it a Skylark sprang up singing into 
the bright clouds. But an old cottage almost covered 
with ivy surpassed everything. She stood gazing upon 
it, lost in wonder and delight. They have ivy in 
Mass^"^ as a potted plant only, taken indoors in winter. 
Mrs. Cameron photographs M. L. I cross to 

1869 LYMINGTON 199 

Lymington and return in the afternoon. After dinner, 
a discussion on Ireland. A. T. as usual, while grant- 
ing and liking the lyrical and humorous qualities of 
the Kelts and their pleasant manners, calls it ' that 
horrible island,' and will not allow that it has any 
history of its own worth the least notice, knowing in 
fact not a whit more of its history than does the 
average Englishman — who knows, as nearly as possible, 
nothing. To him, as to A. T., the very name of ' Brian 
Boru ' is a joke. 

I try to make Brian be seen as a real and important 
historic personage, and win audience from the Americans, 
and perhaps some attention, but A. T. plays his part 
of the deaf adder, and we have to wind all up with a 

Thursday^ May 27. — Cross to Lymington with Miss 
Lowell and the Fieldses. M. L. said Tennyson offered 
her her choice among his books for a gift, and she 
chose Maud — ' I found it was all right, he thought it 
a good choice.' 

IVednesday^ June 9. — Lymington. Letter from 
' Annie Fields,' dated from ' Gads Hill Place,' thanking 
me for ' Touchstone,' ^ which she asked me to send her 
in autograph. It seems it was much talked of in 
America because Emerson recited it in his funeral 
oration for John Brown : most of the papers gave it 
as his. 

Bed 2.30. 'Hear the lark begin his flight.' 

Friday^ July 30. — Longman (by Tom Taylor's 
advice) asks me to write verses to a set of fairy draw- 
ings by Doyle. 

A job of this kind likes me not, yet I accepted the 
offer, and have found some pleasure in trying, chiefly 
during rambles in the Forest, to bring the unconnected 
designs within the compass of a little story in dialogue, 
with some lyrics interspersed. Both artist and publisher 
have left me entirely to myself in the matter, and it 

1 Poem, in AUingham's Floiver Pieces. 

200 LYMINGTON 1869 

remains to be seen how they will like ' Prince Brightkin,' 
whom I have posted to-day to Paternoster Row. 

Garden Party at the Tomlinsons, small ; Miss P., 
Admiral Castle, Mrs. Telfer — who tells me something 
of her history. We were talking of wild flowers ; 
she said, ' the English wild flowers are beautiful, but 
I never saw any in the world so lovely and profuse 
as those of Siberia.' ' Siberia ! ' said I. Then she told 
me that her Father was a young Russian Officer who, 
for his liberal opinions, was banished to Siberia by 
the Emperor Nicholas. He was not imprisoned but 
restricted to certain limits of habitation, and his corre- 
spondence had to pass through official hands. Before 
leaving St. Petersburg he was permitted to marry a 
young lady to whom he was engaged, and she accom- 
panied him into exile. Their daughter (now Mrs. 
Telfer, qui park) was born near Irkutsk ; they after- 
wards lived at Tobolsk, and thus in her childhood she 
was among the enchanting wild flowers of the Siberian 
Springs, ' My Mother used to say they were the happiest 
years of her life.'' They were years of youth, love, 
enthusiasm, and the bright hope of one day returning to 
their country. They did return ; but those years of exile 
seemed in the light of memory sweeter than all others. 

' I can understand,' said I, ' why you love the 
Siberian wild flowers.' 

' But they really are the most beautiful in the world,' 
said she. 

Tuesday, August 3. — Internal gloom. To Lyndhurst 
(invited) ; Whitehorn meets me with Miss Dickson's 
carriage : Bird's Nest, Miss D. and Mrs, A'ide. I walk 
off over moor, Matley Wood — nothing good ! 

Begin to feel better. Mem. — ' Songs of despair, O 
Poet, only songs of despair,' ^ 

Return by road. Dinner at 8. Miss Dickson and I talk 
' gloom, Lymington etc' She speaks wisely and kindly 
as usual, but agrees that Lymington is no abiding-place. 

' Poem, in Allingham's Blackberries. 

1869 LYMINGTON 201 

August 6. — Walk to Whilley Ridge ; cowboy says 
the bull ' blared ' {i.e. bellowed). 

Sunday^ August 22. — Out to Sway and Mead End, 
dine under old tree, near sunset time. Shall I go to 
Exeter, to British Association ^. 

August 23. — Start for Exeter (having arranged for 
Customs duty). Reception Room. Dr. Hooker, etc. 

August 28. — Totnes, Dartmouth, Dean Prior 
(Herrick), Brent, and back to Exeter. 

(See Rambles by Patricius Walker.) 

August 30. — Bideford ; Westward Ho (absurd 
name). Clovelly. 

August 31. — Back to Lymington. I love Devon. 

October^ Lymington. — The Tennant family go to 
Freshwater : they invite me to join in a little tour 
through the Island. Cross to Portsmouth, run up to 
Haslemere to visit Tennyson in his new house on 
Blackdown. Kind reception, magnificent prospect. 

October 13. — Move to Wellington Place ; write on 
chimney-piece of bedroom : — 

I hope that in this House I may 
No evil do, no evil say. 

Monday^ November i. — In Fairyland comes — a 
muddle, no consultation having been made or proposed 
between artist and poet. The former (in a huff prob- 
ably) has put his own prose description to the 

Old Irish airs on violin. I love Ireland : were she 
only not Catholic ! but would she be Ireland otherwise ^ 

News Room. In Fairyland [Prince Brightkin]. 
Daily News says ' charming poem.' 


[Through this year, the entries in Allingham's diaries 
are too bare to be linked together in any continuous 




narrative. He had been offered by Messrs. Longmans 
the post of sub-editor of Eraser s Magazine with Mr, 
Froude ; and in April he finally gave up the Customs 
and came to live in London. He stayed for a week 
with Mr. and Mrs. Tom Taylor, at Lavender Sweep, and 
then found rooms near Onslow Square, within easy 
distance of Cheyne Row. He was immediately busy 
with the work of the Magazine ; and for several 
weeks, in his diary many of the days have entered 
against them only one word — proofs. 

He was often with the Burne-Joneses, now living at 
The Grange, in North End, Fulham, and there he met 
Morris and Webb : he writes of walking from his rooms 
to ' Ned's, by fields, with pear trees in blossom, green 
hedges.' From time to time he dined with Rossetti — 
and with Browning. There is a story of — ' Old Mr. 
T , meeting Browning for the first time at a dinner- 
table, said to him in his important manner — "Mr, 
Browning, I have read some of your poetry, but I can't 
make anything of it," B, replied, "I am delighted to 
hear you say so. I have never met a reader of my 
poetry who made that observation in such plain terms 
as you have to me, yet I am sure a great many of them 
don't really understand it one bit better than you do." ' 

Carlyle was very ' friendly and encouraging ' about 
AUingham's new prospects. He was frequently at 
Cheyne Row ; but unfortunately there are no details 
of the talks during this year. 

One note we give as it stands : ' Mary tells me she 
said to her Uncle — " People say Mr. Allingham is to 
be your Boswell," and he replied, " Well, let him try 
it. He's very accurate." '] 



January 26. — Overtake Carlyle in King's Road. 'I 
am glad to see you, I was going along in solitary reflec- 
tions in this black element of frost.' 

Speaking of some one lately dead, C. said, 'Ah yes, 
he's out of this confused puddle that we must still go 
floundering in a while longer. 

' Death and the Future, We know nothing — must 
leave all that alone. I often think of Kant's notion — 
no real Time or Space, these are only appearances — 
and think it is true, I have often had a feeling (con- 
trary as it is to all logic) that there is a Special Provi- 
dence, — a leading by the Hand of a great friendly Power 
above us.' 

Europe seems determined to try the experiment of 
doing without a God—' the world must be crucified 
and brought through extreme sorrow to a better mind.' 

C. spoke of the Scotch : John Knox : ' they are 
degenerate now — in many ways (laughing) : the old- 
fashioned lairds used to get drunk for ten days at a 
time ! Even Burns had a true sincerity — not like 
Tommy Moore.' 

' Maclise was a quiet shy man with much brogue. 
His drawing of me in Eraser had a very considerable 
likeness. Done from life in Eraser's back-parlour in 
about twenty minutes.' 

February 1. — At Carlyle's meet Tourguenefl^, and the 


204 LONDON 1871 

talk turns upon Russia. T. says that every one speaks 
good Russian in his country, not French, except the 
lower people. He speaks well, softly, naturally, tell- 
ingly, politely ; his gentle speech flowed round Carlyle's 
rocks — a big strong man, over fifty, about 6^ feet, 
good linguist, and curious about English Literature of 
the time. 

June 28. — In Battersea Park. We go by rose- 
garden ; ask the gardener a question, and he answers 
in a rude surly fashion ; we agree that these are 
' Saxon ' manners, and that the Irish have much 
sweeter. We passed some tall foxgloves, which I 
admired : ' Ah,' said he, without looking at them, ' old 
Mother Nature is profuse in her gifts ! ' His insensi- 
bility to the beauty of flowers is one of the odd things 
in C, he allows it as a fact but does not feel it. 

Mem. — He has little or no sense of smell. 

He told me of an old man, a pauper (' bandster '), 
who sang Border Ballads in the Annandale dialect ; C. 
imitated him. Of ignorant old Scots wife who, speaking 
of some family, said, ' There's twa sons, baith doin' 
weel in Glasgie ; tane's an Imposter, and t'ither's a 
Malefactor ' ; it was found that she meant ' Upholsterer ' 
and ' Manufacturer.' 

Once more the longest day is past, we recollected. 

' A day,' he mused, ' how strange ! A year — where 
is it gone .'' Time — is it real, or not } Kant says it is 
but our way of seeing things. I can conceive this, but 
am not able entirely to accept the thought. " Forty 
years make great odds in a lass " — ah, that's true 

He then spoke affectionately of his Mother and her 

As we crossed Battersea Bridge coming back, C. 
said, ' Leigh Hunt used to walk with me in the first 
years after I came to Chelsea. He was sweet and 
dignified, and his talk like the song of a nightingale. 

He was delighted with everything in our house, — 

i87i LONDON 205 

my Wife's playing of Scotch melodies, Scotch brose for 
supper, — praised everything: gradually, however, he 
found I was not a Shelley — had a foundation of 
Presbyterianism which was not agreeable to him. He 
met with much contradiction, and ceased to come to 
walk with me ; but we continued very friendly.' 

[Another day the talk ran on various men and 

Pope : Rev. W. Elwin's edition of Pope an 
absurdity, running down his author all the way. Pope 
a systematic liar — nonsense ! ' His mendacities about 
his writings mattered nothing or next to nothing at 
all ; were merely like those of a young lady who says 
no when she means yes.' 

C. spoke of Life of Peacock (whom he called a poor 
creature) — of Lord Houghton, and ran down Keats 
and Shelley : ' Keats wanted a world of treacle ! ' 
Milnes's Life, etc. — a book that interested me, I said, to 
which C. retorted, ' That shows you to be a soft-horn ! ' 

Of Browning's Balaustion, C. said ' I read it all twice 
through, and found out the meaning of it. Browning 
most ingeniously twists up the English language into 
riddles — " There ! there is some meaning in this — can 
you make it out ^ " I wish he had taken to prose. 
Browning has far more ideas than Tennyson, but is 
not so truthful. Tennyson means what he says, poor 
fellow ! Browning has a meaning in his twisted sen- 
tences, but he does not really go into anything, 
or believe much about it. He accepts conventional 

C. found considerable beauties in Ossian. In early 
days (he told me) he read everything he could put 
hands on — Roderick Random, with immense delight, 
a bundle of old numbers of The Lady^s Magazine, 
another of The Belfast and County Almanack, sewn 
together. This had a department of Mathematical 
Questions, all of which he worked out for himself. 

We spoke of White's Life of Swedenborg, C. rather 

2o6 LONDON 1871 

with praise, in which I could not agree. C. thought 
there was a prurient element in Swedenborg which 
accounted for much : but he never cared at all for the 
great Swede, and had, I believe, no grasp of his 
character. He has been reading Dr. T. Brown's 
Lectures on Moral Philosophy : — ' might as well have 
listened to a rookery.' 

November 8. — With Carlyle. Old Saints. Shake- 
speare : C. said with emphasis, ' The longer I live, the 
higher I rate that much -belauded man.' He thought 
that Shakespeare was much impressed with Christianity ; 
to which I demurred. He repeated ' The cloud-capt 
Towers,' etc., dwelling solemnly once more on — 

We are such stuff 
As dreams are made of, and our little life 
Is rounded with a sleep — 

He quoted Richter — 'These words created whole 
volumes within me,' and mused, saying the words 
again to himself, ' such stuff 2ls dreams are made of.' 

To my mind, I confess this fine dramatic passage 
seems of no very particular value when separated from 
its context. 

We agree about Scott as a poet, and, on the whole, 
about Byron — Moore, too. 

Spoke of Gray — the Elegy ^ Letters from the Lakes, 
and passed to Goldsmith. At no time did C. show 
himself so happy and harmonious as when talking on 
some great literary subject with nothing in it to raise 
his pugnacity. The books and writers who charmed 
his youth — to return to these was to sail into sheltered 

C. said, ' Writing is an art. After I had been at it 
some time I began to perceive more and more clearly 
that it is an art.' 

November 11. — C, and Sir , who talked again 

of the Poor Law. C. complained to me of having too 
much of this from the worthy Baronet. I told him of 

1872 LONDON 207 

the apprentice who, getting cow's liver for dinner day 
after day, remarked at last that liver was very nice for 
six months or so, but after that one wanted a change. 
C. laughed, and thenceforward used to say, on occasion, 
' I've had another dish of liver ! ' 

Story of the mulatto Scotch gentleman who told a 
wandering Irishman asking help that he ought to go to 
his own parish. Paddy looked him full in the face : 
' I'm thinking your Honour's a long way from your 
parish too ! ' 


January i. — Bright Day, to Cheyne Row at 3. 
On my greeting him Carlyle said, ' Yes, this is a New 
Year. I don't expect it to be a better one than last, 
rather worse.' 

I said (remotely hinting at the need of resignation 
or stoicism — if nothing better may be had), ' Every 
creature can but have its own life — no more than that .'' ' 
C. assented, ' Yes, that is the case.' 

January 2. — Bright, vernal. To C. at 3. We 
walked to Hyde Park. He spoke about a curious 
old Scotchwoman Susy, a blacksmith's daughter. She 
could do quadratic equations in her head, without any 
mathematics ; when she had to solve a question she 
thwarted it, that was her explanation of her method. 
She wrote poetry, and used to say, ' Burns and me are 
pure nature.' 

Sir Charles Johnston, * a rich, wild man,' gave Susy 
a cottage and kail-garden. 

C. praised parts of The Ring and the Book very highly 
— ' showing a most intimate acquaintance with Italian 
life — better, I think, than anything else of Browning,' 
he said. ' But the whole is on a most absurd basis. 
The real story is plain enough on looking into it ; the 
girl and the handsome young priest were lovers.' 

I said that B. had neither given us the real story as 

2o8 LONDON 1872 

he found it, nor, on the other hand, constructed a poem 
out of it, and in reading The Ring and the Book I felt (as 
I told B. himself) like a creature with one leg and one 
wing, half hopping, half flying ; at which C. laughed. 
C. said Thackeray's Irish Ballads were the best things 
he ever wrote, and quoted (as he often did) with great 
gusto and a strong brogue — 

'Twould binifit your sowls 
To see the butther'd rowls, 

laughing heartily afterwards. 

For Thackeray's novels, except Esmond^ he had 
little praise. The fact is he has not read most of them. 

He praises Laurence Bloomfield. 

Wednesday^ January 24. — C, dictating to his niece 
introduction to the Saga — Heimskringla, Norse chiefs. 

Wednesday^ March 6. — Warm. Sit in Carlyle's 
room while he is punctuating the Saga translation. 
We walk to Hyde Park, dodging the carriages some- 
times, at risk. (He may catch his death thus, for he 
usually insists on crossing when he has made up his 
mind to it, carrying his stick so as to poke it into a 
horse's nose at need.) Call at Lady Ashburton's, and 
back to Chelsea. 

Monday^ March 11. — Death of Mazzini. 

Wednesday ^ March 13. — Carlyle's at 3 — friendly. 

' Poor Mazzini ! lying dead there — all done, all 
over. What a bright young man when he came in 
here in 1836 and sat on that sofa! He got into 
" solidarity " and all manner of absurdities. He used 
to trouble himself about every wretched Italian who 
was in any way political. There was one Italian who 
fell in love with a danseuse and stabbed himself; 
Mazzini took care of him, recovered him, and persuaded 
the girl to marry him. Mazzini was indolent, rose late, 
and smoked a good many cigars. His mother watched 
over him and sent him ^^200 a year, which he never 
took care of 

i872 LONDON 209 

Easter Monday, April i . — Corner of Oakley Street, 
see Carlyle in omnibus, help him out and walk home 
with him. He speaks of a Scottish First of April 
custom — ' Hunt the gowk ! A-pril ! ' 

Friday, April 12. — to Carlyle at 3 — with him 
to London Library : Ruskin's books, W. H. Brookfield, 
Thackeray, etc. etc. ; the idle classes ; few pro- 
ductive people. I had recommended Petrie's Round 
Towers as an authentic memorandum on ancient 
Ireland, but C. found it ' intolerably stupid.' 

He cares to hear nothing about Ireland save what 
feeds his prejudices. His is the least judicial of minds. 

Monday, April 11. — Fine. To C. at 3. We 
spoke of the Agricultural Labourers' Strike, and I was 
somewhat surprised to find C. sympathising with the 
men. Speaking of Slavery he said ' work by compul- 
sion is little good. You must carry man's volition 
along with you if you are to command to any 

May II. — Carlyle, Froude, and I. C. talked against 
painting, said it was all worthless except portrait-paint- 
ing : F. chimed in with him, and remarked in his sub- 
sarcastic manner, ' The connoisseurs tell us a Portrait is 
no work of Art' — I said, ' O no ! ' 

F. — ' Well, when I said to Ruskin that I cared for 
no pictures but portraits, he replied, " That proves you 
care nothing at all about art." ' 

W. A. — 'But that was not saying that a good portrait 
is not a work of art.' I did not go on ; it was merely 
tedious and vexatious. 

June 24. — To Cheyne Row — 3. C. in lower 
room writing behind screen, calls out ' Are you there ,'' ' 
He has been reading Fifine at the Fair, and saying every 
now and again to Browning (though not present), 
' What the Devil do you mean } ' 

July. — To C.'s and see Dr. Carlyle lately from Vichy, 
looking hearty. C. speaks of his brother John. Trans- 
lated Dante's Inferno ; was private physician to the Duke 


2IO LONDON 1872 

of Buccleuch. Went to Rome and had good practice 

C. speaks of Falstaff in an odd way. ' It is no 
picture of a man at all — merely a stage caricature to 
make people laugh ; Doll Tearsheet, etc., inconceiv- 
able ! ' 

I could not in the least agree or, of course, in the 
least shake him. He was speaking of the Sir John of 
Henry IV. 

' Henry VI. is not Shakespeare's ; the writer of that 
is a stupid man.' 

He praises Henry V.^ and especially Agincourt. 
He has often urged me to visit and describe the 
battle-field ; but I have no enthusiasm for Henry V. — 
a horror of him, rather. 

One sometimes feels provoked — ' You have said 
your say, and I'll say my say, not yours over again, 
great as you are ! ' but I believe he is really in his heart 
ready to allow any true honest feeling. 

Sunday, September 22. — Returned from holiday at 
Lynmouth ; go to Cheyne Row at 3, and find C. — 
friendly. We walk to Kensington Gardens — sunshiny 
but cold. Saint Elizabeth, Marbach, etc. C. quotes 
Shakespeare's — 

Fear no more the heat o' the sun. 

Nor the furious winter's rages ; 
Thou thy worldly task hast done. 

Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages ; 

' One of the prettiest things ever written — that. It is 
like the distant tinkle of evening bells. Much comes 
of the rhymes — rhymes are valuable sometimes, answer- 
ing somehow to the melody within a man's thought and 

(I was amused by this concession.) 

But a man may have skill in metre, and little along 
with it, we agreed ; and I quoted Moore's ' Harp that 
once through Tara's halls.' C. said, 'Could not be 

i872 LONDON 211 

better done — by a man who could not do it at all ! — do 
anything worth having.' 

C.'s ignorance of the technique of Poetry — i.e. the 
form and body of it, is astonishing, and by me inexplic- 
able. He has read a vast quantity of Poetry, and 
admired much that he found there ; countless phrases 
from Shakespeare and iVIilton are embedded in his 
writings ; he always speaks of ^schylus, Dante, Shake- 
speare, Goethe as men of the highest rank. Moreover, 
he tried hard, tried over and over again, and in many 
various metres, to write Poetry. In his verse you can 
hear the sound of an original man, vigour, quaintness, 
imagery are there, and for a few lines, less or more, the 
movement may go right, but only by chance ; presently 
it goes all awry. It is not a question of choosing or 
happening to be rough, or of taking liberties : the 
Writer, after reading many thousand lines of the best 
Poets, remains entirely insensible to the structure of 
verse, to the indispensable rules derived from the nature 
of the human mind and ear. 

He spoke of having once fainted — ' torrents of sleep 
descended on the brain ; death, I have thought, will 
be like that.' 

September. — C. : ' I hear that Burns's nieces, the Miss 
Beggs, are paupers. If every Burns' Club throughout 
the world would give them one night's punch ! ' 

' Strauss's Life of Jesus^ a revolutionary and ill- 
advised enterprise, setting forth in words what all 
wise men had had in their minds for fifty years past, 
and thought it fittest to hold their peace about.' (I 
could not agree.) 

Schiller — an account of his father and family has 
lately appeared, and C. is going to translate this, and 
add it to the people's edition of his Life of Schiller. 

' Perhaps you will let it first appear in Fraser ? ' 

' That cannot be, sir.' ^ 

Duke of Wellington. I tell of his reprisals on the 

1 Carlyle afterwards allowed it to appear in fraser. 

212 LONDON 1872 

farmer at Walmer who prevented the Duke from 
riding along a bridle-road on his farm. Duke rode 
straight to the barracks, spoke to the commanding 
officer, and in a few minutes a number of soldiers went 
into a turnip-field at the back of the barracks and pulled 
up all the turnips growing within a certain number of 
yards of the wall, and flung them into the other part of 
the field. The ground thus summarily cleared belonged 
to Government, and the farmer aforesaid had cultivated 
it on sufferance. 

Cervantes : his poverty, his nobility and sweetness. 

' Don Quixote is a very pretty book : Jarvis's 
translation I reckon best ; Smollett's is not good.' 

He praised Smollett's own pathos, instancing the bit 
from Humphrey Clinker of the blacksmith's wife. 

* Cervantes began the Don^ I think, in a mere spirit 
of raillery, but gradually saw his way to making a fine 
character of him.' 

C. read Don Quixote in Spanish at Craigenputtock. 

October 'X,. — Carlyle's. Forster has lent C. Democratic 
Vistas by Walt Whitman. C. was accustomed to say 
of W. W., ' It is as though the town-bull had learnt to 
hold a pen.' To-day he had a modicum of praise for 

' Professor Clifford thinks that three angles of a 
triangle may perhaps not be always equal to two right 

C. — ' Let him prove that, and I'll give him my head 
for an ounce of tobacco. God bless us all, what deluges 
of delirium are pouring out over the world ! ' 

October 5. — 'Suicide of Justice .' C, as usual, 

speaks of suicide in a matter-of-tact and rather sympa- 
thetic tone : ' the Roman death — Venio, Proserpina ! etc' 

C. looks through all the principal English Periodicals 
and is uneasy to miss one, but seldom finds anything to 
praise. I was surprised to-day to find him speaking 
with some approval of a paper in the Fortnightly Review 
on ' The Morality of Marriage,' advising people to 

1872 LONDON 213 

restrict the number of children, on economic grounds. I 
argued against the public discussion of such a subject in 
such a tone. The question, if it arises, is one for private 
decision in each case (wife's health for instance may be 
weighty consideration), and is not to be settled by 
general rules of frugality or economy. When children 
are a burden, the constitution of society is accused. 
Carlyle would not listen, and I was much hurt and 
disturbed by his having, apparently, come round to a 
grossly utilitarian view which he once abhorred, and 
which he had strongly censured in Stuart Mill. But I 
believe that all C. wishes to inculcate is self-denial, and 
that he thought of nothing else. 

He objects to Taine's book on England, — The 
account of the Derby Day — boxing, etc. — ' 1 find it is 
not true — it is incredible — inconceivable, etc. etc. ! ' 
Now C. has never been at the Derby ; I have, — and 
can believe it all. 

October. — C. said, ' Plato has not been of much use to 
me ; a high, refined man : " Odi profanum vulgus." 

' Socrates — I didn't get much benefit from him.^ 

A. — ' His Discourse before his Death 1 ' 

C. — ' Well, in such a case I should have made no 
discourse ; should have wished to be left alone, to 
profound reflections.' 

We spoke of Candide and its author. 

A. — ' Voltaire is always crapulous, often nasty, when 
speaking of the relation of the sexes. Very different 
from Fielding who, though he takes liberties, warmly 
recognises true love.' 

C. — ' And I believe Fielding was much attached to 
his own wife.' 

A. — ' I don't remember anything like love in 
Voltaire's writings.' 

C. — ' Voltaire is a very questionable sort of article.' 

A. — ' But he hated injustice.' 

C. — 'Oh, he abhorred that with his whole soul ! . . .' 

A. — ' I saw Macbeth the other night ; with Phelps. 

214 LONDON 1872 

The crowd of witches put on the stage is a great 
mistake. The Incantation, — a poet nowadays would 
hardly describe the brewage in detail, " Eye of newt 
and toe of frog," etc. ; it would be thought vulgar and 
ludicrous. Goethe avoided the like in Faust.' 

C. — ' Yes ; but all that in the Cauldron Scene is very 
clever too. It struck me often in reading Shakespeare 
— this man knew a hundred times more about animals, 
plants, and all the visible world than I do : how did he 
learn it all ? What he needs for his purpose is ready 
to hand.' 

We walked into Hyde Park by the powder 
magazine ; heavy rain came on, and we stood under 
a plane tree, C. talking all the time vehemently on 
Emigration and urging me to write upon it. I 
intimated that I felt little capacity that way, but 
would take down anything he dictated. C. laughed, 
and said Sir Baldwyn Leighton had offered to send him 
a short-hand writer who could write as fast as one spoke. 

November i. — Dined at Mr. John Forster's, Palace 
Gate House, Kensington. Mr. and Mrs. Forster, 
Carlyle and Mary Aitken, Edward Emerson (son of 
R. W. E.), and myself. 

C.'s description of a charge at Waterloo got from 
some eye-witness : two red lines^ one advancing, one 
fixed — of dead and wounded. I told the account of 
the battle given me by Tom Patten, an old soldier 
at Ballyshannon, which amounted to this — he was 
' a'most smothered with smoke, and mortial hungry 
(nothing to ait all day) ' ; when the French ran away 
he prowled about for something to put between his 
teeth, and by good luck found a live goose squatting 
in a corner ; three or four other men came up and 
would have taken it off him, but he defended the 
goose at the point of the bayonet, and they agreed that 
it should be cooked and shared ; so they plucked it, 
made a little fire, and ' ait ' it half raw. 

C. laughed, and agreed that we were apt to forget that 

i872 LONDON 215 

hunger and thirst are often among the trials of a battle- 

November 3, Sunday. — Tennyson calls, with Knowles 
— sits, looks at books. T. looks well and big. K. 
asks me to dinner. Walk, Chelsea Bridge, up to 
Clapham Common, dusk, walk about. Dinner — T. 
repeats Lincolnshire Nursery Rhvmes, etc. 

Art in writing : ' A little thing well done will out- 
last a thousand great things not well done.' 

Talk — Immortality. F. Harrison in Fortnightly. 

T. — ' If I ceased to believe in any chance of another 
life, and of a great Personality somewhere in the 
Universe, I should not care a pin for anything. People 
must have some religion.' 

K. — ' I said to Manning — we're all coming back to 
you by and by.' 

T. — ' I have often thought the day of Rome would 
come again.' 

A. — ' We ought at least to try and hinder the worst 
absurdities from coming back.' 

I walk back, over Chelsea Bridge. 

November 5. — To Carlyle's. We spoke of the 
' Immortality Dinner,' otherwise Metaphysical Society. 
Fraser — paper on the stars. 

C. — -' It seems the stars are racing along at an inex- 
pressible rate of speed. But I care next to nothing about 
it, let them race as they will. There are much grander 
and more important subjects for contemplation.' 

The Fenian meeting in Hyde Park on Saturday — 
' Fitzjames Stephen and I passed through the tail of it; 
they were mainly London idlers. What are we coming 
to } People intend to try Atheism awhile. They will 
not find it answer.' 

A. — ' When the main road of dogma has become a 
quagmire, people will get back to Religion by byways, 
as it were. Domestic love will not fail. The love of 
Nature, too, I own I think a powerful help to religious 

2i6 LONDON 1872 

C. (as I knew he would). — ' Ho ! there's not much 
in that. A great deal of sham and affectation is in the 
raptures people express about Nature ; ecstasies over 
mountains and waterfalls, et cetera. I perceive that 
most people really get much the same amount of good 
out of all that that I do myself: I have a kind of 
content in it ; but any kind of Nature does well enough. 
I used to find the moorlands answer my purpose as well 
as anything, — great, brown shaggy expanses, here and 
there a huge boulder-stone — "There you lie, God knows 
how long ! " ' 

I intimated dissent, but knew that discussion would 
be useless. 

Coming back, we spoke of hand- writing ; bad 
writing is hard on the printers, who lose wages by it. 

C. — ' I could not be taught to write at school ; the 
master gave it up in despair. I taught myself after- 
wards. A hand should be legible, neat, and saving in 
space. I was very economical in paper, perhaps too 
much so — I used to bind myself to do so many pages of 
writing every day, before I went out to other affairs. 
I don't quite approve of your hand ; it looks hurried. 
I like my own as well as any I have seen.' 

November 6. — To C. at 3. Found him dictating to 
Mary about Schiller ; description of S., — long nose, long 
neck, awkward. 

C. said, ' The veritable living Emerson was with me 
to-day ; hair all gone from the back of his head, but 
cheerful. He asked about Matthew Arnold, but I 
could give him little satisfaction as to Matthew. He 
mentioned you.' 

Saturday^ November 9. — Note from Edward Emer- 
son, ' Father at 1 1 Down St., hoping to see you in 
the evening.' Walk to Down St. Emerson and his 
daughter Ellen. He said, ' Carlyle called to-day — 
his humour runs into everything, hearty laugh, excellent 
company — has always something memorable to say in 
choice language.' 

1872 LONDON 217 

E. — ' London — much improved to the eye. 

' Matthew Arnold — his book on Homer good. 

' Dr. Wendell Holmes, — a man with us who writes 
(perhaps you have not heard of him.''), said he could 
find nothing to read ; everything appeared to him slow. 
I said, " I have a book at home which is not slow," and 
lent him Matthew Arnold on Homer. He said he 
could read any quantity of books like that. 

' Matthew Arnold called on me when I was in 
London before, but our interview was interrupted 
before I got any good of him. 

' Canada — Americans will not take any definite step, 
they feel that Canada must come into the Confederation, 
and will of herself. American party in Canada always 
at work.' 

A. — ' Tennyson and Carlyle are for keeping together 
the Empire — Canada, Australia, India, etc' 

E. — ' Is not the case of India different } I think the 
world would applaud England if, after due preparation, 
she withdrew from India.' 

Going now to Italy, Athens, perhaps Egypt, to 
return to London in the Spring. ' My curiosity has 
increased with years.' 

December 23. — Carlyle's. Drove to Athenasum Club. 
Natural scenery : ' any part of Nature is wonderful.' 

His first view of the river Annan, ' running solemnly 
down with a slight rippling.' 

I said I dreamed much of wonderful landscapes. 
Did he ,? 

C. — 'I do work upon Scenery sometimes; I dreamed 
every night, for about six months, of Ecclefechan as a 
wild wide moorland.' 

One day Carlyle said, ' I have for many years strictly 
avoided going to church, or having anything to do 
with Mumbo-Jumbo. I stood sponsor the other day 
to Sir Baldwyn Leighton's child ; I didn't like it, but 
was told it was only a form. I don't think it was 
right. I have an unfortunate difficulty in saying No' 

21 8 LONDON 1872 

Speaking of Memorials of a Quiet Life^ he said, * I 
cried over it. It brought back my old world — I used 
to ride to Hurstmonceaux in summer — couldn't stay 
on the road. I was strong enough for anything then. 

' I was forced into resistance to the intellectual 
position of the men (Julius and Augustus Hare), but 
as to the women all was clear and right. They had 
no doubts. Julius used to attack me for my heresies ; 
always giving me due and grave notice. But when 
the attack came, it was really so mild that it made no 
impression on me one way or another.' 

One day I found him with the Life of Beethoven^ 
edited by Moscheles. 

He said, ' 1 have been wading through it. I can 
perceive that there may be a great deal of expression 
in Beethoven's music, if I could understand it — as 
I never could. We are to think that the greatest thing 
a man can do is to write a sonata, which I cannot at all 
believe ! ' 

[Another day] — ' Goethe and Diderot are the only 
critics of pictures who seem to me to talk sense. 
Diderot explained what was told by the picture, and 
afterwards how it ought to have been done.' 

Carlyle was entirely against the use of any sort of 
sedative and anaesthetic drug. The smallest dose of an 
opiate made him feel poisoned. He held chloroform 
in surgical operations to be a mistake : ' the pain a 
natural accompaniment and has its use.' The only 
medicine he believed in was blue-pill. 



London y January i, 1873. — ^^ Carlyle's at 3. He 
gives me a book. We walk out. 

This morning he said, ' after midnight, as Mary and 
I were sitting together, we heard a chorus of male voices 
outside the window singing Auld Lang Syne. We 
peeped out, and saw five or six figures on the other side 
of the street. I was really touched. I put up the 
window and said " Good-night ! " one of them eagerly 
replied '* Good-night ! " and then they all vanished silently 
away.' Then with a laugh he added, ' Truly the songs 
of Judah in a Babylonish land ' ! and afterwards quoted 
Burns's burlesque lines : — 

We hung our fiddles up to dreep, etc. 

He spoke of * Hogmanay ' in the streets of Edin- 
burgh, hot punch and kissing. 

There used to be gangs of footpads in Edinburgh. 
C. was once struck on the head by them and had his 
hat broken. He saw three young men of this kind 

* Before that I had seen a man from Liddesdale, 
Armstrong by name, hanged for horse-stealing. He 
was a strong man, grimly silent. His body spun and 
twitched horribly. I saw it before my eyes in the dark 
and in daylight for weeks. At last I drew the horrible 
figure on paper as exactly as I could, and thenceforth it 


220 LONDON 1873 

ceased to haunt me. I saw another execution — of an 
old woman who killed an infant, bastard of her son, and 
who had the reputation of a witch. She declared they 
could not hang her. She was a mere old wrinkled 
wretched bundle of some sort.* 

January 21. — C. picked up a bit of bread in the 
street and put it on a ledge, blaming such ' waste of 

He often praised Cobbett's Cottage Economy, ?in6 spoke 
of a poor woman who took up straw-plaiting from it. 

February 7. — Arranged with Messrs. Longman, 
Green and Co. for the publication of an edition of the 
Rambles of Patricius Walker. 

March 16. — To C, Sir Baldwyn Leighton there, 
who asks, ' What has Emerson written } ' 

C. — ' Oh, many little books, which are very well worth 
reading. English Traits can be highly recommended 
to any Englishman's attention. Emerson often spins 
things out to an extreme tenuity ; but he has a fine 
lofty tone — the highest kind of thing America has to 
show us ; and Emerson himself is very sweet and 
equable in disposition.' 

Carlyle and Emerson — they recognised each other 
as no common men, liked each other, praised each 
other ; each was idealised to the other by distance of 
space and difference of circumstance, and in a way 
represented to his friend a whole strange nation of 
peculiar interest. 

In the published correspondence are plentiful hints 
that C. thought E. too much in the air, and E. thought 
C. too much on the ground. 

You hear E. calling ' Come up ! ' and C. calling 
' Come down ! ' 

Carlyle's genius wants the poetic flavour of the 

Emerson to Carlyle — as an angel to a genie, as light 
to fire. E. holds up a mild steady lamp, like the full 
moon ; C. brandishes a huge torch. 

1873 LONDON 221 

Saturday, April 19. — To South Kensington Museum, 
Emerson and Browning in the porch, Miss E. inside. 
Walk round musical instruments. Browning looks 
fondly at Handel's favourite harpsicord, Michael Angelo's 
' Slave,' Donatello's 'St. George,' etc. Japanese temples : 
devils as spouts. 

B. says, ' Same on Christian temples, devils are 
made to serve.' 

W. A. — ' To remind people of what they must fear.' 

Wednesday, April 23. — Call at Royal Institution, 
2.40 ; upstairs Miss E., Tyndall, Huxley, Emerson ; 
Huxley (looks ill), ' Indigestion — so depressing.' 

W. A. — 'Carlyle boasts of having had it continuously 
for fifty years — says it includes all the evils of life.' 

H. — ' I believe it does.' 

Tyndall opens book of Icebergs. 

' Your toes are tingling to climb them.' 

' Old love of mine. When at Tennyson's I climbed 
down a precipice at Freshwater — nearly sacrificed 
another guest. That was P., the publisher, a pity he 

E., Miss E. and I in cab — past Garrick Club ; E. an 
honorary member ; Blue Coat Schoolboys at play ; 
Guildhall, Gog and Magog, New Free Library, 
splendid room, write names. 

Letter of Nelson from the Nile — * Britannia still 
rules the waves, and that she may ever do so is the 
sincere prayer of ... ' 

Emerson much amused at this. Out by back way 
and by desire to St. Giles's, Cripplegate ; Milton's tomb, 
slab in aisle — bust moved from pillar, and put under a 
foolish canopy against wall. 

E. — ' Do many persons come to look at Milton's 
grave } ' 

Sexton. — ' Americans, sir.' 

Crosby Hall, London Bridge, St. Saviour's ; Gower, 
Massinger. Monument to (Wm.) ' Emerson, who 
lived and died an honest man, 1695.' 

222 LONDON 1873 

E. says he does not care for Massinger's writing ; 
there are some good lines of Gower. 

The Tabard looks very shabby and mean. 

(Missed the Bull and the Green Dragon) return in 
cab to Down St. 

I show E. my little green edition of his Eight 
Essays^ which I have long carried in my pocket ; he 
looks carefully at my pencil marks. 

His daughter says, ' that's just what Father likes to 
see, hints of real opinions, etc, ; in a letter, that which 
is omitted in sending is what he mostly wishes to see.' 

E. asks what my marks mean — ' what is + 500 .f* ' 
(Sin is but defeat). 

A. — 'That the statement is 500 times questionable.' 

After a short discussion E. said smiling, ' I agree 
with the author.' 

Talk till it is time for him to dress for dinner. 

(At Lady Airlie's) — Poetry — 'The Touchstone ' ; E. 
offers to make a selection of my poems for publication 
in America — Good-bye. 

Cold — hail, walk, Hyde Park. 

Sunday^ April 27. — Call at the Priory on Mr. and 
Mrs. Lewes — friendly reception. Mrs. Lewes had sent 
me her 'reproachful regards.' 

Carlyle, Emerson, Max Miiller on Language. Lewes 
agrees that language makes an impassable gulf between 
man and the lower animals, but this does not touch the 
Darwinian theory. 

Mrs. Lewes says ' Emerson would have liked to hear 
some of Browning's opinions. Have you ever heard 
any of Browning's opinions ^ ' 

April 28. — At Carlyle's house about 3. He spent 
about fifteen minutes in trying to clear the stem of a long 
clay pipe with a brass wire, and in the end did not 
succeed. The pipe was new, but somehow obstructed. 
At last he sent for another one and smoked, and we got 
out at last. (I never saw him smoke in public.) He 
said Emerson had called on him on Sunday, and he 


1873 LONDON 223 

meant to visit E. to-day at his lodging in Down Street. 
We walked to Hyde Park by Queen's Gate, and west- 
ward along the broad walk next to the ride, with the 
Serpentine a field distant on the left hand. This was a 
favourite route of his. I was well content to have the 
expectation of seeing Emerson again, and, moreover, 
Emerson and Carlyle together. We spoke of Masson's 
Life of Milton^ a volume of which was on C.'s table. 
He said Masson's praise of Milton was exaggerated. 
' Milton had a gift in poetry — of a particular kind. 

' Paradise Lost is absurd ; I never could take to it at 
all, — though now and again clouds of splendour rolled 
in upon the scene ' 

' But V Allegro and // Penseroso — you can find 
nothing better.' I quoted — 

Over some wide-water'd shore 
Swinging slow with sullen roar. 

C. — ' That is very good. He did not find that at 

W. A. — ' At Cambridge, he might.' 

C— ' No, no ! ' 

W. A. — ' The bell over the levels ' 

C. — ' It's the sound of the sea.'' 

W. A. — ' The sound of a bell — the curfew.' 

^C. — * No, no ! The sound of the sea, — that is what 
he is speaking of — 

Swinging slow with sullen roar.' 

We then discussed Emerson, whom C. described as 
* a mild, pure, gentle spirit.' 

Some one had said of Emerson that he spent his life 
in ' making sentences ' ; 'an unfriendly remark,' said 
C, ' yet with some truth in it.' But of whom may 
not unfriendly things be said with some truth in them .? 
And Emerson has made golden sentences, diamond 
sentences, sentences to be always grateful for. 

At Hyde Park Corner C. stopped and looked at 
the clock. 

224 LONDON 1873 

' You are going to Down St., sir ? ' 

' No, it's too late.' 

* The place is close at hand.' 

' No, no, it's half-past five.' 

So he headed for Knightsbridge, and soon after I 
helped him into a Chelsea omnibus, banning internally 
the clay pipe (value a half-penny farthing) through 
v^hich this chance (perhaps the last, for Emerson is 
going away soon) was lost. 

The chance never did come again. 

Friday^ May 2. — Bright and mild. To Carlyle 
3.15. We walk, Kensington Gardens. C. said, 'Here 
is May — poor May ! not forward with her work this 
time — Tyndall has not come near me lately ; I must 
touch him up. O yes, he's very fond of me — but 
perhaps he was vexed by an outburst of mine against 
Darwinism. I find no one who has the deep abhorrence 
of it that I have in my heart of hearts ! Science, falsely 
so called. Tyndall is Irish, but not an inaccurate 
Irishman. He is jocular, and not without a touch of 
blarney. Has Huxley indigestion .? — lucky not to 
have had experience of it sooner. Huxley attacks 
Herbert Spencer, with many polite bows and recogni- 

Kensington Gardens — we sit on felled trees, amid a 
strong odour of bark, which C. does not, I think, 
perceive. He praises Charles Norton : ' a serious 
man — he is attached to America, but sees well enough 
too the dreadful plague of money-worship there, and 
the manifold evils that are, and are to be, from that.' 

Monday^ May 12. — Fine and warm. To C. 3.15. 
' Not seen you for a long time.' 

He is smoking, throws a printed circular into the fire, 
and denounces the Promoters of Companies — promoters 
of Gambling — 'damnable fellows deserving to be horse- 
whipt ' (emphasis on the second word). 

Walk along the Fulham Road — Browning's Red 
Cotton Night-Cap Country. C. tells the story very 

,873 LONDON 225 

clearly (he always likes doing this kind of feat), and 
says there are ' ingenious remarks here and there ; but 
nobody out of Bedlam ever before thought of choosing 
such a theme.' 

Agrees that B. may possibly take up the Tichborne 
Case next. 

Tuesday, May 13. — To C. 3.10. Walk, Gloucester 
Road, Kensington Gardens, sit. 

' Browning w/// very likely do the Claimant by and by.' 

' And call it, what .'' Gammon and Spinach, perhaps.' 

C. in Germany. N.B. — He has kept a longish diary 
of his German tour. 

In May and June I walked with Carlyle various 
times, but made few notes of our conversations. 

Monday, June 9. — Met Carlyle. We had been 
talking, on some previous day or days, about Stratford 
on Avon, to which I had paid a visit this May. When 
I quoted the tombstone lines ' Good Friend, for Jesus 
sake forbear,' etc., C. wished to correct me to ' Sweet 
Friend,' and would not be gainsaid : indeed he has 
used the ' Sweet Friend,' etc., several times in his 
writings and very frequently in conversation, and would 
not give it up save on compulsion. To-day I brought 
proof in my pocket in the shape of a photograph of the 
stone with its inscription clearly legible, and as we sat 
on a tree-trunk I showed this to him in the quietest 
possible way — (not the least air of triumph, overt or 
covert). He looked at the photograph, said nothing or 
very little (' Ah, well,' perhaps, or the like), and handed 
it back without any formal retractation, though further 
argument was plainly impossible ; and not long after- 
wards (I mean a few weeks later) he was using his 
beloved old formula, ' Sweet Friend,' as if nothing had 
happened, and so continued. 

June 30. — To C. at 3. In a new book he found 
' — Whatever are you doing .'' ' — ' an abominable word.' 

We walked to Hyde Park, talking of Russian Tales, 
Gaelic Tales, J. F. Campbell, and Macpherson. The 


226 LONDON 1873 

Highlanders C. once more declared to be of Scandinavian 

Thornton Hunt is dead — ' Leigh Hunt was saying 
one day, what a fine thing it would be if a subscrip- 
tion could be made to abolish Hell\ but I remarked, 
" Decidedly a bad investment, that would be ! " — which 
grieved Hunt considerably.' 

Saturday^ July 19. — To C.'s, carrying some books of 
poetry to him. He is having a course of reading in 
English Poetry, and I have lent him Hazlitt's Selections^ 
Campbell's, etc. Walk, Carlyle, Mr. Robert Tait and 
I ; C. speaks of Dryden's Alexander s Feast. 

' Handel's music decupled the effect of the poetry : 
this is what music ought to do.' 

Talking of scenery C. told of two rustic Scotchmen 
who found themselves by some chance at Ailsa Craig ; 
they stared in astonishment at the great sea-precipices. 
At last one said to the other, ' Eh, Jock, Nature's 
deevilish ! ' 

The Smith near C.'s father. C. describes minutely 
the situation of the smithy. ' Smith a great arguer ; 
used to say, " Tak' ayther side ye like, an' I'll doon 
ye ! " He was popularly said to make a pudding for 
himself at Christmas time of horsenails, and this was 
supposed to keep his bones green. Poor John ! poor 
fellow ! ' 

Monday^ July 28. — C. urges me to visit Crecy and 
Agincourt on my holiday ; but the truth is that (while 
I know what the lust of battle is, and read eagerly the 
story of a well-fought fight, from Waterloo to Tom 
Sayers) these old invasions of France by the English 
seem to me acts of violent injustice, — disgusting and 
useless butchery. 

July 29. — Carlyle tells me he is ' sitting ' to Whistler. 
If C. makes signs of changing his position W. screams 
out in an agonised tone, ' For God's sake, don't move ! ' 

C. afterwards said that all W.'s anxiety seemed to 
be to get the coat painted to ideal perfection ; the face 

1873 LONDON 227 

went for little. He had begun by asking two or three 
sittings, but managed to get a great many. 

At last C. flatly rebelled. He used to define W. as 
the most absurd creature on the face of the earth. 

C. — ' I met Cary, translator of Dante, a wise-looking 
old man, but neglected to speak to him, through shy- 
ness. The Kilmarnock weaver prayed, " The Lord gie 
us a guid conceit o' oursells ! " — and I would have been 
better of some additional share in every situation in my 
life. Still, real self-conceit is the most poisonous thing 
can get into a man's mind.' 

August 28. — Left London by boat for Honfleur and 

arrived there on the 30th 

September 14. — Carlyle remarked, 'I believe I have 
been a Ritter of some sort these twenty years or more. 
The diploma is in the drawer yonder.' 

W. A. — ' Have you ever put on the decoration ? ' 
C. — ' There 's no decoration.' 

Mary. — * O yes : the decoration's in the drawer with 
the diploma.' 

October 8. — I returned from a little tour in 
Normandy, Brittany, Jersey and Guernsey. 

October 9. — Carlyle. * Tom Paine has been entirely 
misrepresented. When I read The Rights of Man I 
found I agreed with him.' 

I amused him by quoting from a speech of Lord 
Derby (on Education), reported in the newspaper, * We 
have no reason to despair of greatly limiting the area 
and scope of imbecility in future.' He laughed loud 
and said, ' that would be a very excellent thing if it 
could be managed.' 

Carlyle had thought much of writing a life of 
Napoleon, or book of some kind upon him ; ' but the 
more I looked into him,' he said, ' the more I perceived 
him to be of the Brigand species.' 

October 10, — I found C. had been reading Lanfrey's 
book. He said, ' I am amazed at the character of 
Napoleon, — it is most devilish ! ' 

22 8 LONDON 1873 

Napoleon must have been dreadfully disconcerting 
to C.'s theory of Power and Goodness going together. 
He used to deny that Napoleon was a great general ; 
' Circumstances (he would say) gave him unbounded 
means, and he lavished them recklessly, he cared not 
how many soldiers he lost : this is not Generalship.' 

October 28. — Carlyle's. W. W. Story the sculptor. 
S. and I speak of Browning. J. S. Mill's autobio- 
graphy. I walk with Mr. Story to Alexandra Hotel. 
He is returning to Rome through Paris. 

November 7. — Lady Ashburton about Latin tutor 
for her daughter. C. praises Mary B. 

' Tom Stanley going to stand for Maidstone against 
Lubbock. Amberley, etc' 

C. preaches morals ; and then talks without censure 
of Goethe at Weimar and Frau von Stein. 

Leslie Stephen writing on Jonathan Edwards. C. : 
' What is the use of it } — sticking like a wood-louse to 
an old bed-post and boring one more hole in it. — There 
is deep truth in Calvinism.' 

November 17. — C. speaks of the second part of 
Faust^ which he has been reading again : ' All this is 
very inferior to Shakespeare.' 

We talked of death — I recalled Goethe's conversation 
with Falk on the day of Wieland's funeral, and how he 
spoke of the continuance of existence after death as a 
thing of course, and said some very remarkable things. 

C. said, ' I have thought little of this, pro or con. I 
long ago despaired of any response to such an inquiry.' 

On another day about the same time he said to me, 
' Dying of old age is a painful process. Still, this may 
be called an euthanasia, — and there are flaming glimpses 
and glories sometimes among the deepening clouds.' 

One day Carlyle said to me, ' Life's a Dream.' 

Tennyson (who was in town) said to me the very 
same words on, I think, the very same day, without any 
reference having been made to the conversation with C, 
and while talking on a difi^erent subject. 

1873 LONDON 229 

C. has no belief at all in the efficiency of the 
British Army : ' nobody connected with it has the least 
knowledge of the art of war. Our officers ought to be 
sent to Germany to learn something of this, and one 
or two of our Royal Princes ought to go.' 

December 2. — Germany and Frederick — Carlyle 
visited various battlefields and ' found something to go 
on ; Frederick occupied me thirteen years ; about 
eight in writing ; I knew I should have mountains of 
dust and rubbish to swallow. I thought I could manage 
somehow brevi manu. But it was infinitely worse than 
I had ever prefigured. I thought of nothing else for 
eight years : used to go about and say to myself, " What 
kind of man is this Frederick } What does all this 
talk about him mean } incredible most of it, clearly 
incredible." ' 

W. A. — ' Did you read about nothing else } ' 
C. — ' Hardly anything, — except something very 
notable now and then. My mind was full of Frederick. 
I used to ride a great deal then, and when I came in I 
had usually an hour's bright talk or so (ah me !), and 
then after dinner sat down to Frederick^ — she silent in 
another corner of the room. Often, I think, she would 
have been glad to speak to me — ah dear ! . . . Well, 
it nearly killed me. It was the desire and longing of 
my life to finish it. 

' When it was done I felt ill in body and much 

W. A.—' But it is done.' 

C. (quietly and perhaps sadly) — 'Yes, it is done.' 
C. despised oratory, yet much of his writing is akin 
to Oratory. Whatever he takes up he impresses upon 
you with all the emphasis of his forcible nature, and all 
his skill of language. When the Reader has recovered 
breath he may sometimes suspect that a claim has been 
made upon his attention and nervous system, dispropor- 
tionate to the real importance of the matter. 

The Frederick Book might be called the reductio ad 

230 LONDON 1874 

ahsurdum of Carlyleism. Yet, on the other hand, take 
— that very Book. Suppose you care little or nothing at 
all for the King of Prussia and his concerns, — if you 
care for Literature and for Genius, here is a supreme 
work of Literary Genius, here is the best that a truly 
Great Man of the literary sort found himself able to 
give you by the conscientious devotion of thirteen 
laborious years ; here is spread out legibly before you 
a world of wit, humour, picture, narrative, character, 
history, thought, wisdom, shrewdness, learning, insight. 
Open it where you will, the page is alive. 


January 23. — C. has a bad cold, very unusual with 
him. We call at Froude's, who is gone out. C. 
manages to get as far as Sloane St. — his laughing 
always ends in a cough. 

Speaks of Sartor Resartus. ' I did not then, and 
never did, and do not now, think highly of Sartor. 
And when I get letters such as often come from young 
men — Oh, so impressed with Sartor ! it almost makes me 
sick. But I thought I might perhaps get ^^150 for it.' 

Sartor sold better than any of C.'s other books in the 
cheap edition. He used to mention this, with a protest 
against ' the foolish people ' who showed this preference 
for a book ' of very little value.' 

He often said, ' The only book of mine I care at all 
about is the Cromwell.^ 

C. told me he at first got Sartor printed with capital 
letters to all the nouns, but on full consideration gave 
up the plan. One complete copy was so printed, and 
in after years he sent this away in a box of books, gift 
to a needy individual whose name I forget (if he told 
me). C. never heard more about said box, and thinks 
it was perhaps lost in transit. So the Bookstall-hunter 
may set down this unique copy of Sartor among his 
possible discoveries. 

i874 LONDON 231 

Mem. — Sartor Resartus : was the title suggested by 
an old song called ' The Tailor Done-over ' ? 

* The Niebelungen Lied is the prettiest thing we have 
out of the Middle Ages. There is no English transla- 
tion of it. That would be a fine thing for you to do, 
it would be a lasting work. I felt, once, I had got into 
it, and could have done it if I had been able to write 

February 13. — Carlyle has received the German 
order Pour le Merite — black ribbon with silver line 
near each edge ; he dictates to Mary letters to the 
Ambassador and to Berlin, but cannot phrase them to 
his mind. 

We walked to Palace Gate : returning saw the red 
glare in the sky of a great fire. C. quoted — 
A little spark makes muckle wark. 

It was the Storehouse called Pantechnicon, near 
Belgrave Square, which had boasted itself fire-proof. 

'Lord Salisbury's article in the Quarterly (" Difficulties 
of the Liberal Party ") is good, and so quietly worded ! 
I thought with shame how impossible it would have 
been for me to avoid bursting out into the most violent 

C. — * Gordon Bennett, an Aberdeen man, pushed 
himself into notice by scurrility. Somebody once said 
to Daniel O'Connell in a London room, bringing forward 
a stranger, " May I introduce to you Mr. Gordon 
Bennett ^ " O'Connell replied " No, you may not. 
Neither you nor any man alive may introduce to me Mr. 
Gordon Bennett." Best thing I ever heard of Dan.' 

W. A. — ' The blossoms are coming out.' 

C. — ' Ah, yes, poor things ! ' 

March 23. — To C.'s 3.30. C. lends me a pair of 
' model braces.' He highly admires some practical 
little inventions, and thinks it must have been one of 
the most ingenious of modern men who thought of 
putting metal eyes into the lace-holes of boots and shoes. 
Walk to Hyde Park — ' Forster's Dickens — next to 

232 LONDON 1874 

BoswelU We crossed the crowded drive and Carlyle 
was nearly run over ; on reaching the opposite foot-path 
he laughed and quoted — 

There's a sweet little Cherub that sits up aloft, 
To keep watch o'er the life of poor Jack. 

March 30. — Carlyle spoke of the first Nigger 
Minstrels in this country ; some one took him to a 
theatre to hear them. He was extremely tickled by 
their ' tempest of enthusiasm about nothing at all ' ; and 
imitated 'Who's dat knocking at the door' with energy. 

Saturday^ April 5. — Easter Day. Carlyle, Mary and 
I to Millais' Studio, ' North Pole ' (Trelawney).^ 

J. E. M. big and stout, with cap on. 

Tuesday^ April 20. — C. and I walk past Rajah's 
fountain ; Carlyle (as his habit is) takes his hat off at 
the spot where he supposes his Wife to have died, and 
keeps it off for a quarter of a minute or so. 

May 24. — Carlyle spoke of his College days. ' The 
Mathematical Professor had no single word of encourage- 
ment or advice to give me. I studied the Evidences 
of Christianity for several years, with the greatest desire 
to be convinced, but in vain. I read Gibbon, and then 
first clearly saw that Christianity was not true. Then 
came the most trying time of my life. I should either 
have gone mad or made an end of myself had I not 
fallen in with some very superior minds.' 

He then imitated very comically the Professor of 
Theology at Edinburgh, who was extremely emphatic 
in addressing his class. ' The Devil, after succeeding 
in his vile machinations retires to his infernal den and 
grins with horrid satisfaction ! ' . . . This led to talk 
on elocution, and C. repeated the lines — 

There was a man of Thessaly, 
And he was wondrous wise, etc., 

in the manner of Macready, and did it with great point 
and effect. 

^ Edward John Trelawney, the friend of Byron and Shelley, sat to 
Millais for the old mariner in his picture, ' The North Pole.* 

i874 LONDON 233 

May 27. — The post of Historiographer Royal for 
Scotland was ' about to be offered ' to Carlyle, but the 
attack on Dizzy in Shooting Niagara put a stop to this. 
So C. told me to-day. 

There was a throng at Hyde Park Corner, but C. 
ran into the middle of the street, at a risk, to catch a 
Chelsea omnibus. 

June 2. — Walk with C. and Professor Bain to Hyde 
Park, iTalk of size of heads. C. said (I think) 
that his own head was 23I- inches round, one inch more 
than Burns's. Goethe's head was large, Byron's small. 
Browning's is small. Whewell's brain was found to 
be shrunk. The brain of ordinary persons begins to 
shrink at sixty, of superior men not till seventy, Grote's 
head was large, but his brain was found to be light. 
Greatest weight of a brain about 62 oz. 

C.'s present height, five feet eleven — ' I used to 
reckon myself six feet.' 

Thursday^ June 25. — C, and I walked on the Chelsea 
Embankment. He praised Wren, always a favourite 
of his : ' I was some years in Chelsea before I took 
particular notice of the Hospital, and then I perceived 
it to be an honest, dignified structure, admirably adapted 
to its uses. St. Paul's is a very fine thing.' 

I hinted that the visible Dome is but a wooden shell 
covering something like a glass-house chimney ; C. did 
not take any notice of this fact, but went on with his 

' I remember (this was on his first visit to London) 
catching a glimpse from Cheapside of the huge Dome, 
its gold finger pointing to Heaven ; human creatures 
creeping about (I one of them) on our petty errands. 
It was and is the grandest building I ever saw,' 

For Westminster Abbey, or for any Gothic building, 
C, I think, cared nothing. 

[In June of this year Allingham became editor of 
Frasers Magazine^ and on August 22 he was married 
to Helen Paterson. The diary begins again in October, 

234 LONDON 1874 

when they are back in London, at their new home, 
12 Trafalgar Square, Chelsea.] 

Thursday^ October 8. — Helen and I about 9.30 to 
5 Cheyne Row. Upstairs : Carlyle in gray dressing- 
gown, reading. Mary Aitken ; C. returned lately 
from Scotland. 

' Saw many things that were interesting and pathetic 
to me — at Kirkcaldy, the Provost extremely attentive. 
To Edinburgh ; wished to speak to no one, but could 
not manage that. St. Andrews, curious place — ruins, 
getting larger now.' 

Tuesday^ October 13. — C. : 'Dizzy the most ambitious 
of living men — was dreadfully unhappy in his time of 
obscurity ; believes in nothing whatever but success. 
Has undoubted toughness, the Jew quality — as Goethe 
noted. His novels worth little or nothing. His address 
to the young men of Glasgow almost as empty as if '* the 
people's William " had made it. Dizzy no humour, 
no love in his jesting. Even Swift had real humour, 
could really banter and enjoy a joke, the grimmest real 
humourist I know of. Gulliver merry reading.' 

October or November. — Emerson Tennent — he went 
to Greece in 1824, to help the cause. He had an 
album in which Campbell promised to write something ; 
it came back to Tennent with the following line in- 
scribed in it — 

My dear Sir, you are going away to Greece, and you have the 
best wishes of, my dear Sir, Yours faithfully, Thomas Campbell. 

C. — ' Spedding's Bacon : a most admirable work, 
has brought together every fact with the utmost 
diligence, honesty, and good judgment, and produced 
a book of great value, which is almost unreadable from 
its flatness and prolixity. He shows Bacon as a 
thoroughly respectable character and an opulent mind. 
Bacon had a power of swift deliberation — if that be 
not a contradiction in terms. But he was an unfruitful 
man in matters of science.' 



January 7. — Walk with Carlyle to Piccadilly. He 
said, ' Froude's History of England is too long, ought 
to be melted down to a third part. Fr. is hardly just 
to Elizabeth, has brought up all her foibles. His treat- 
ment of Mary is harsh. The sneer at her faded charms 
in the execution scene gave me a shudder.' 

January 11. — Helen and I call at Cheyne Row 
about half past ten in the evening — show him proof of 
Early Kings of Norway^ second article. (He is particular 
to the minutest point, and rages against printers. Mary 
copied out all the MS., with no small labour.) 

January 15. — Carlyle calls at my house about 4. 
I go with him in omnibus to Oxford Circus, and we 
walk to Wells Street for Samuel Laurence's Studio. 
The painter is gone for the day, but a civil pleasant 
woman shows us in, and we see L.'s copy of the picture 
which C. maintains to be of John Knox — also portrait of 
Thackeray. We walk down Regent Street to Piccadilly. 
C. in a very kind mood ; he into omnibus. 

February i. — To C.'s at 10 in the evening. He 
sitting with Mary, at work (correcting new edition of 

' This is a good number of Eraser. Froude is 
coming home.' Vegetarianism. ■*" — ""^ 

Has received from Disraeli an offer of the Grand 
Cross of the Bath ; also intimation that the Oueen 


236 LONDON 1875 

would provide money by pension or otherwise. , . . 
' rhis is magnanimous of Dizzy ! ' 

I doubted that ; thought it would be a great triumph 
to D. to be able to confer public favours on those who 
had publicly despised him, and put famed and haughty 
men under obligation to him. 

April 2. — C. spoke of Sydney Smith, to whom he 
was able to give no praise at all. ' The nature of true 
Wit is very much misunderstood. Sydney said nothing 
worth remembering. He said " it took a surgical 
operation to get a joke into a Scotchman's head " ; the 
thing is, that what Sydney presented was not a joke 
worth admitting into any one's head, and the Scotchman 
refused to have anything to do with it. The Scotch 
are a people with a large appreciation of fun very 
generally among them. ... I remember seeing Sydney 
Smith setting himself to make a company laugh, and I 
left him there at it, reflecting what a wretched ambition 
it was in any man.' 

June 12. — With Carlyle and Dr. John Carlyle to 
Hyde Park Corner. Ruskin's pamphlet on the Royal 
Academy — ' more coherent and reasonable than some 
he has written. 

' I never was at a Royal Academy Exhibition. I 
was taken in once to the Hall to see a bust of myself — 
a wretched, absurd thing, — and should have been glad 
at any time to hear of its having been dragged out by a 
rope round its neck and pounded into lime-dust.' 

He spoke of a debate long ago at the London 
Library about the appointment of a Librarian. C. was 
for one man, Gladstone for a certain Italian. C. said : 
' I discovered then that Gladstone had the art of 
speaking. He and I were like Valentine and Orson. 
I laid about me with a rough club, he got up in shining 
armour and drew his sword. But all in vain, too ; by 
no sleight of fence could he carry his point. 
I ' The London Library is choked with foolish books.' 

7«/y 6.— Thomas Campbell. C, a youth' at 

i875 LONDON 237 

Edinburgh University, was greatly struck by Campbell's 
lyrics — especially ' The Battle of the Baltic ' and 
' Lochiel ' ; and when coming to London procured an 
introduction to the Poet. ' I found him one day in his 
house somewhere near the Edgeware Road, and was 
much disappointed ; — a little man in a black scratch 
wig, luminous eyes, but unkind looking, with a belli- 
gerent expression. He was unhappy and snappish, — 
thought I wanted something of him in the way of 
magazine work or literary introductions, — which I did 
not at all ; and I soon took my leave.' 

Friday^ July 23. — To Cheyne Row about 10.15 ^^ 
the evening. Carlyle, Dr. C, Mary. My sketch of 
Campbell to Bell's new edition. C. praised it on the 
whole, but thought me ' rather stingy ' in my estimate 
of Campbell's poetry. Talked of Dr. Beattie : ' It was 
a curious thing, that shriek of joy which Beattie reports 
as the last thing. No one but Beattie could give any 
opinion as to what it meant. Probably it meant nothing 
at all, — was a mere physical convulsion.' 

' Your poor friend PlimsoU ' — C. sympathised with 
him. (He often calls the selfish shipowners 'Cannibals.') 

Carlyle spoke with respect of sailors ; their occupa- 
tion brought them into close contact with the eternal 
verities of the universe. But, as matter of experience, 
is the average sailor a superior man '^. 

He learned smoking as a schoolboy. It is the only 
' creature comfort ' that has given him any satisfaction. 
After working for some hours he always has ' an inter- 
lude of tobacco.' He smokes long clay pipes, made at 
Paisley, whence he gets them by the box. * No pipes 
good for anything can be got in England.' He likes 
best a new pipe, and used, when first I knew him, to 
smoke a new pipe every day, its predecessor being put 
out at night on the door-step for who would to carry 

I have more than once heard Carlyle talk about 
Tennyson's smoking, and also T. of Carlyle's. Each 

238 LONDON 1875 

thought the other smoked too much — or at all events 
too strong tobacco. T. carefully dries his tobacco 
before putting it into the pipe, which, he says, lessens 
the strength, while C. asserts that this process makes 
it stronger. T. has a wooden frame for his pipes, 
I holding, I think, fourteen, which hangs over the 
chimney-piece of his study, and he smokes No. i 
to-day. No. 2 to-morrow, and so on, coming round in 
J a fortnight to No. i again. 

I Saturday, July 24. — Mr. William Black the 

novelist wrote to me some days ago to ask if I could 
take him to Carlyle — ' one of the few ambitions of 
my life.' I asked leave ; and to-day Mr. B. lunched 
with Helen and me, and I took him down to Cheyne 
Row. C. received him civilly, and we three walked 
by the Embankment, Chelsea Hospital, King's Road, 
Ebury Square and back to Oakley Street. The talk 
was mostly about Scotland. C. asked Mr. Black : 
* Well, sir, and when are you going to seriously set 
about writing a book .? ' 

Mr. B. afterwards sent A Princess of Thule to 
Cheyne Row. 

August 4. — C, the Dr. and I walk. C. : ' Michelet 
— very wise and truthful — a curious kind of historian 
— puts in a good deal of strulduddery.' Bradlaugh 
and Kenealy — Newman's ' Primitive Christianity ' 
(article in Fraser). ' I could not read it. I know 
Primitive Christianity was some sort of high and holy 
enthusiasm. I do not in the least believe that God 
came down upon earth and was a joiner and made 
chairs and hog-troughs ; or came down at any time 
more than He comes down now into the soul of every 
devout man. There is no use in saying anything more 
in the matter. Let it rest here.' 

A. — ' People are still busy with the old dogmas, and 
they still interfere with life, individual and social.' 

C. — ' I don't want to see Christianity falling all 
away to ruin — a bit faster than it is doing.' 

i875 LONDON 239 

J. S. Mill on Religion — C. : * It is like the last mew 
of a drowning kitten ! people speak as if " Comfort " 
were the one thing ; as if Divine Providence had not 
intended a man to go through many things and learn 
much thereby, by labour and self-denial and mis- 
fortune and even misery — John Mill wasted away his 

Tuesday^ October 5. — Back from Eastbourne — at C.'s 
3.20. Carlyle and Mary back from Keston Lodge. C. 
and I go out, rain, shelter in public-house, allowed 
with scant civility, and then go back for his coat. 

Carlyle never carried an umbrella ; in wet weather 
a waterproof coat. He very seldom caught cold. 

C. — ' We had a successful stay at Keston. Saw Sir 
John Lubbock ; Charles Darwin several times. 

' I had not seen him for twenty years. He is a 
pleasant y^/Zj-minded man (I thought this a very 
curious phrase), with much observation and a clear way 
of expressing it. Has long been an invalid. I asked 
him if he thought there was a possibility of men 
turning into apes again. He laughed much at this, 
and came back to it over and over again.' 

C. praises Owen's paper on ' Petroleum ' in Fraser. 

October 12. — C.'s. Walk with him to Piccadilly. 

Goethe's Spriiche very hard to translate. * I found, 
when I was translating from the German writers that 
each man has a tune : Goethe has his ; Richter has 
his, and, when I got into it, all went on well. That 
was the pleasantest kind of work I ever did. I could 
do it in any mood — like basket-making. Goethe's 
style is by far the most refined and most difficult to 

Carlyle's intellectual position and attitude are, from 
his own point of view, rightly chosen and unassailable. 
He is not a learned man in the scholastic sense, being 
anything but a purist in classical matters. He neither 
had, nor cared to have, more than a rough working 
knowledge of Greek and Latin, but he never let any 

240 LONDON 1875 

quotation or reference pass, if he cared to look at it at 
all, without getting at the real substance of it. 

C. — ' I have often been invited to places with the 
temptation of meeting Manning ; but he is perhaps of 
all human creatures the one I would most decidedly 
refuse to meet. If we did, it might possibly end in 
actual blows, old as I am.' 

November 5. — Helen went to Carlyle's to-day at 2, 
to go on with his portrait. Browning came in. Lately 
returned from Normandy. Had read in the news- 
papers of C.'s being ill — not true : ' happy for your 
sake, and still more for my own ; I have often lamented 
not to have availed myself more of your company of late.' 

He reminded C. how, long ago, C. used to come to 
their house (at Camberwell) and ' talk Scotch ' to B.'s 
mother (who was a Scotchwoman). 

' You told me the Scotch name for buns — cookies' 

C. said, ' I hear you have been bringing out several 
new Books rather lately. I always read your Books 
and find them well worth it, but I have not seen these.' 

B. — * I'm afraid of you in that way ! I'd sooner 
trust my body to you than my book.' 

C. — ' What is the last about .'' ' 

B. — ' It's called Aristophanes'' Apology. I felt in a 
manner bound to write it, so many blunders about 
Aristophanes afloat, even among the so-called learned.' 

C. praised B.'s translation from Euripides (Alcestis). 

' The very best translation I ever read,' and re- 
commended him to do more. 

B. looked at the portrait and said, ' Very like.' 

C. passed my house about 4 to-day. I overtook 
him in the Fulham Road and walked with him to 
Lady Ashburton's door at Knightsbridge. He said, 
' Browning in his young days wore a turn-down shirt 
collar with a ribbon for neck-tie, and a green coat. I 
first met him one evening at Leigh Hunt's, a modest 
youth, with a good strong face and a head of dark hair. 
He said little, but what he said was good.' 

i875 LONDON 241 

November 18. — On my way to Cheyne Row saw 
Carlyle and Lecky in King's Road walking along, C. 
looking small beside L., who overtopped and bent over 
C. in speaking and listening. 

C. asked for ' Madame and the Homunculus.' ^ ' A 
Baby is the most wonderful of all phenomena in this 
variegated world. Some of the women told Mary it 
was a most lovely creature (smiling). Babies have na 
features at first — they're small red things, but gradually 
you come to discern some features.' 

After this we spoke of Historians. ' Ranke a diligent 
man, gave much about diplomacies useful in its way, no 
picture of men or things. He hangs up a kind of — 
well — a gray shadow, you might say, like an Ossian 
ghost, " the stars dim twinkling through." Macaulay 
like a Russian Steppe — green enough, but not a rock or 
tree to break the monotony.' 

I. — ' Macaulay tried much to make an effect by style.* 

C. (smiling). — ' Then we can only say he did not 
succeed.' i 

The Slav people — C: 'An ugly, dirty, ill-conditioned 
set of creatures, with all the worst qualities attributed 
to the Irish, and none of the good. Their language 
a mere jargon, with nothing in it worth knowing.' 

L. — ' You have been among them } ' 

C. — ' O yes, for some three weeks.' 

L. (very mildly). — ' Is that long enough to judge of 
a nation } ' 

C. — ' Oh, I did not judge them by that alone. They 
are most miserable, their houses filthy and unventilated 
beyond imagination — smells centuries old ! ' 

December i. — Carlyle and I walk in the snow and 
dusk in Cromwell Road. We meet Leslie Stephen, 1 
whose wife died on Sunday ; he turns and shakes hands, 
but does not speak. Carlyle says ' I am very sorry 
for you, sir. My own loss did not come in so 1 
grievous a way.' S. departs without a word. | 

1 Gerald Carlyle Allingham, born November 8, 1875. 


242 LONDON 1875 

Carlyle, to me : ' We feel some pity in such cases, 
— but small, small, small it is. I look back often to 
those times of poverty in my life, and richer they seem 
than all California ! And She going through it all so 
nobly and so queenly, — without any recognition almost ! 
Ah me ! . . . That winter I went to Mentone was 
the saddest of my life. I used to go into an olive grove 
and meditate most sadly on many things.' 

' Browning came on my birthday and talked loud. 
He agreed with me about Shelley and his poetry.* 

December 27 — C. returned to Shelley again to-day, 
a subject I would fain avoid with him. ' Shelley had not 
the least poetic faculty. I never could read anything 
he wrote. It was all a shriek merely.' 

I hope it is not wrong in me to avoid battles in 
such a case. C. knows perfectly well that my opinion 
is not his — that Shelley is a star in my sky. As to 
Browning, I have with pain heard him of later years 
speak slightingly of Shelley. The longer I know B. 
(great and lovable as I must always hold him) the less 
do I know how much weight to give to his utterances. 

Shelley's conduct to his poor Harriet is entirely 
inexcusable. It was the act of a wildly impulsive, 
impatient, unregulated mind, always hurried headlong 
by its moods. C. was only three years and four 
months younger than Shelley, and his mind was already 
formed before the latter became at all known to him. 

It may be noted here that Emerson once told me 
he could see nothing in Shelley's poetry, beyond some 
pretty verses in ' The Skylark ' and ' The Cloud.' I 
tried him with ' Ozymandias ' (he was just back from 
Egypt). ' That is fine,' he said, and asked leave to look 
at it, but I fear was hardly likely to alter his verdict. 
Emerson said on this occasion, ' If I don't know what 
Poetry is, I don't know anything.' 

Perhaps I had secretly a similar prejudice in favour 
of somebody else's judgment ! 



Wednesday^ January 26. — Spring-like. Walk with 
Carlyle and Froude, Hyde Park, 

' School proposed for Haddington in memory of 
John Knox.' 

Lord Amberley's death. (To W. A. ) — ' Emerson has 
quoted from you about sleep.' Game Laws — ' do animals 
enjoy being hunted } I asked a man how he would 
feel if he had to run for his life with twelve devils at 
his heels } ' 

C. declared game laws bad, caused a ' waste of food- 
producing power.' 

Saturday^ January 29. — To C. 12.30, and stayed 
three hours, examining with him Goethe's Sprilche, the 
original, and an English translation by a lady. 

C. said, ' She has rubbed down all the points with a 

Froude comes in. 

F. — *Jowett's Plato, a bald, tame, prosaic transla- 

C. — ' Plato's style is admirable, but he has nothing 
particular to tell you.' 

A. — ' One wonders how much is Socrates.' 

C. — ' Socrates one suspects to be a myth mainly. I 
could get nothing out of Plato ! What do you mean 
then } — the devil a word ! ' 

F. — ' You would have liked to meet him ^ ' 


244 LONDON 1876 

C. — 'O yes, I daresay I should have found him 
highly interesting in himself.' 

Wednesday^ February 16. — We walk to Hyde Park. 
C. helps a blind beggar-man over a wide crossing. 
We meet Leighton, old King Cole/ and the Hon. and 
Rev. Byng. Sit on bench in Park, where a man speaks 
to us, but none of us know anything of him. 

C. has had a letter from Mr. Norton (Mass.), ' turn- 
ing much on Emerson, describing him as cheerful and 
hopeful ; but E. says he has lately been affected with 
a disease called Old Age (smiles). His memory for 
names is defective. He is not inclined to write more ; 
Emerson's last book, like the rest, full of fine airy 
I * Browning's Inn Album is the worst of all he has 
\ given us ; and he has been growing worse and worse — 
I with the exception of his Greek translations. The Ring 
I and the Book — what a thing it is ! Browning has a 
* great quantity of miscellaneous reading about him, but 

Ino solid basis of knowledge in anything. Tennyson's 
later things are better than B.'s. But Browning js a 
man of great abilities.' 

Thursday., February 17. — Helen, Miss Edith Mar- 
tineau and I walking along Chelsea Embankment, 
meet Carlyle with Mary. I ask C.'s leave aside to 
introduce Miss E. M. to him. ' The sister of theologic 
Martineau ^ ' he inquires. ' Daughter ' — on which he 
speaks to Edith : ' How is your Father ^ I used to go 
to your house in Liverpool.' Asks after Harriet 
Martineau, now about seventy-three. 

E. asks if her father may come and see Carlyle. 

' O yes, I shall be delighted to see him and hear 
what he has to say of things.' 

To Helen : ' Take care of your little son.' 

Saturday., February 19. — Rev. James Martineau 
called on me. Tyndall, Haeckel, and modern 
materialism in general. 

1 Sir Henry Cole. 

1876 LONDON 245 

We went together to 5 Cheyne Row and were 
shown into the parlour, where, after a few minutes, 
enter Carlyle. He had already two waiting to walk 
with him, and we walked slowly along the Embank- 
ment eastward, and nearly as far as Vauxhall Bridge, 
a body of five — Carlyle, Martineau, Froude, Lecky 
and W, A, — too many for hearing well what C. said. 
Froude and he turned back ; M., L. and I went on 
to Westminster. Spoke of Newton's Principia. M, 
thought he saw faults in the logic, e.g. ' Gravitation in 
proportion to Mass ' — now, mass is weight, and weight 
is gravitation. 

Wednesday^ February 23. — Walk with Carlyle and 
Froude. I ask C. has he read Mr. Martineau on 
Tyndall in the Contemporary Review ? ' No, I care 
nothing about it. It is an utterly contemptible theory, 
that out of dead blind dust could spring the sense of 
right and wrong ! Fit only for a dog, if a dog could 
speculate. Don't come to me to certify that you have 
an intellect, with such notions as these in your head.' 

Monday, March 6. — Walk with Carlyle and Froude, 
meet Longman and Spedding. We speak of Ruskin's 
Fors (' my pets,' money accounts, etc.). 

St. George's Society, which C. thinks an absurdity, 
and gives nothing to. 

Froude says Ruskin lamented to him the way he 
was brought up — not like other boys, no out-door 
games, etc. ' I might have had a son of my own and 
been happy.' 

I alone into St. James' Park, at liberty to greet the 
new spring. Cool west wind, leaves budding, almond 
bushes in bloom ; pleasant (though C. would never 
admit it !) 

I to Water Colour Gallery and find Helen. ' Ruskin 
just gone — introduced himself, thanked me for Carlyle 
portrait, asked me to do another showing the stronger 

March 10. — At Hyde Park Corner meet Browning. 

246 LONDON 1876 

' How odd ! made sure I had just seen you in another 
part of town and differently dressed. I don't quite 
believe in dopfelgangers^ 

Browning asks me about Byron article in Fraser^ and 
praises it most warmly. ' Shouldn't mind if my name 
were at iihe bottom of it. Only you did not say half a 
hundredth part as much as might be said of Byron's 
baseness and brutality. 

' I might have rated Byron higher intellectually than 
you have done, in some respects, but what you have 
said of him morally is mild to what he deserves.' 

He then spoke of Disraeli. ' What a humbug he 
is ! Won't I give it him one of these days ! ' Royal 
Academy dinner, Dizzy's speech. ' What struclc him 
most was " the imagination of the British School of Art, 
amid ugly streets and dull skies, etc. etc." ' 

Afterwards Disraeli came up to Browning and said, 
' What do you think of this Exhibition } ' 

Browning wished to hear Disraeli's opinion. Disraeli 
said — ' What strikes me is the utter and hopeless want 
of imagination ' (as much as to say, you didn't think 
me such a fool as I seemed in my speech !) 

Browning told this to Gladstone, who said pungently, 
' It's hellish ! He is like that in the House too — it's 

' And so it is,' added Browning. 

Friday^ March 24. — To Carlyle's. Lecky there 

(L. up in all the newspaper and club gossip}T He 

said The World gave what professed to be the substance 

of Bismarck's letter to Carlyle, and all wrong from 

■ beginning to end. C. said ' it was a most flattering 

thing to receive such a letter, saying that I had " raised 

V a living statue of their great King " — could not be a 

finer compliment. Nothing to make him write such a 

'• letter but his own free will ; not a word of humbug in 

it that one could see.' 
\ Macaulay's Life by Trevelyan on the table : C. has 

I just begun it. Lecky asked him, 'You read the first 





two volumes of Macaulay's History^ I believe ? ' 
assented, and L." ho dtDubt chuckled internally. 

I said, ' How variable a thing National Character 
seems to be ; take the England of Shakespeare, of 
Cromwell, of Charles 11/ 

C. Said, ' Shakespeare and Cromwell were brothers, 
profoundly wise and sympathetic souls.' 

W. A. — ' I meant Shakespeare's time. He was above 
his time.' 

C. (emphatically). — ' He was above everybody of 
every time. No such man has been seen in the world. 

We are such stuff as dreams are made of — 

nothing so profound anywhere out of the Bible, or in it, 
that I recollect. '' Such stuff'' — the same kind of thing. 
I put The Tempest first of all (profound philosophy of 
life in robes of romance).' 

Lecky, — ' His last play, was it not } ' 

C. — ' I recollect when I first heard of Shakespeare, 
when I went to school at Annan, where there was 
rather more acquaintance with things in general than 
in our house. I had never heard of Shakespeare there : 
my Father never, I believe, read a word of him in his 

life. But one day in the street of Annan I found a 

wandering Italian resting a board with very bad imagery 
— " images " (C. imitated the cry), and among them a 
figure leaning on a pedestal with " The Cloudcapt 
towers," etc. Various passers-by looked on, and a 
woman read aloud the verses, very badly, and then the 
name below, " Shankespeare," that was the way she gave 
it, "Shankespeare" (laughing).' 

I tell the joke of the sailor reading, ' The Cloud — 
Captain Towers — don't know the ship.' 

Carlyle laughed and said, ' I've heard that.' 

When Carlyle first came to London in 1824 he 
went very seldom to the theatre — saw Kean once in 
Shylock^ thought he exaggerated everything, and was 
like a wild beast. Had seen him in Edinburgh in the 

248 LONDON 1876 

same part of the Jew — Macready gave him a season 
ticket for three seasons, and then he went often (he 
always praises Macready). 

Spoke again to-day with bitter contempt of ' Dar- 
winism.' Lecture at Zion College to the Clergy against 
Spontaneous Generation. 

C. — ' No argument at all for it. But (he said, half 
in soliloquy and with a tone of conviction) we shall get 
rid at last of all forms, and that will be a blessed thing.' 
Scotland greatly changed since his youth, a hundred 
times as much wealth, and not a hundredth part as 
much solid worth. 

(L. queries and suggests dissent, but does not argue, 
and rarely opposes.) 

I say, the whole world of mankind is mixing — it 
cannot be helped. Old local peculiarities are disappear- 
ing. C. agrees. 

April I . — Carlyle said, ' Just after I had got out of 
my bath this morning and was drying myself — getting 
into a kind of fury or exaltation of mind, I exclaimed, 
" What the devil then am I, at all, at all ? after all 
these eighty years I know nothing about it.'" 

April 6, — Browning paid us a visit 3.15 to 4.30 
about. He breakfasts every morning at 8, not later, 
has luncheon at i. He tells me he has no dreams 
worth remembering — no beautiful or clever dreams, 
' Except that a few times I have dreamed that I was 
among the mountains near Asolo (of Pippa Passes)^ 
and I said to myself, " I have often wished to see Asolo 
a second time, but now here I am and I'll go and do it." 
Once I dreamed I was seeing the elder Kean in 
Richard the Thirds and he uttered a line which struck 
me as immensely finer than anything else in the play, 
or than I had ever heard perhaps, and I perceived it 
was not Shakespeare's, but my own invention. It was 
in the scene where the ghosts rise. When I woke I 
still had hold of the stupendous line, and it was this — 
And when I wake my dreams are madness — Damn me. 

i876 LONDON 249 

' I never dream but when out of sorts in healtFi.' 

Browning looked at a photograph of himself on my 
chimney-piece and said, ' There I am — and I don't 
recollect when or where it was done, or anything 
about it. I find gaps in my memory. The other day 
I came by chance on an old letter of my own, telling 
how I had seen Ristori in Camma — if that was the 
word, and I could not and cannot recollect in the 
very least what Camma is, or what I refer to : yet 
there it was in my own handwriting — a judgment on 
me for my opinion of my Grandfather, when I asked 
him if he had seen Garrick in Richard the Third and 
he replied " I suppose I have," and I thought " Bless my 
soul ! shall / ever come to this." People compliment 
me on my prodigious memory, because I have a knack 
of remembering rhymes — " hog " and " dog," and so 
forth ; but it's breaking down.' 

B. took down Quarles's Emblems from the shelf, 
and turned it over. ' Whose pencil marks are 
these } ' 

' Mine,' I told him. 

B. said, ' Quarles did a great deal for me — he was a 
man of great gehius.' He read aloud passages here and 
there — e.g. 

She's empty : hark, she sounds, there's nothing there 
But noise to fill thy ear, etc. 

Trust not this hollow world ; she's empty ; hark, she sounds. 

And with especial relish the close of the dialogue of 
Eve and the Serpent — 

Eve. — fruit's made for food : 

I'll pull, and taste, and tempt my Adam too 
To know the secrets of this dainty. 

Serpent. — Do. 

' That's exquisite ! ' Browning said. 

We talked of music. B. goes to all the best 

250 LONDON 1876 

concerts and musical parties he can. Spoke of people 
who know nothing at all of music. ' Last night at a 
private house — Joachim playing "Beethoven" ; Mrs. P., 
sitting next me, knew and cared absolutely nothing 
about it.' 

1 tried to say that there are people with no ear and 
also people with some, though not much, and these 
latter may, having sensitive and imaginative souls, be 
much moved by what does reach them ; and I instanced 
Carlyle — but had no sooner uttered the name than B., 
more suo, snatched the ball out of my hands, and ran 
off with it in another direction. 

' Carlyle talks the most utter rubbish about Beethoven, 
knows absolutely nothing about it, etc. etc' And went 
on to declare, in his rapid way, that no untrained person 
could know or feel anything of this high music. ' It 
cannot be reached per saltum — instead of a melody in 
a song or ballad, you have, in the harmonies and 
transitions, countless melodies melted and flowing and 
mingling,' and so on. 

Browning asked for Gerald, took him in his arms and 
kissed him ; looked at Carlyle's mug.^ 

Hardly looked at Helen's drawing — talked con- 
h temptuously of Dizzy. ' Snobbishly changed his name 
5 from D'Israeli to Disraeli. D. a great tyrant to every- 
body. Told me he had never seen Carlyle, and I 
brought him up to Boehm's Statue.' 

April 18. — Carlyle called at my house to-day. 
f Looking into little Gerald's face he placed his hand 
lightly on the baby's head, saying solemnly, ' May God 
bless thee ! ' He then placed his arm across his own 
heart in a peculiar way, bowed his head and muttered 
or sighed something. 

September 6. — We came back from Margate on 
Saturday. I called at Carlyle's on Sunday, and again 

1 A silver mug given to Gerald, on which is inscribed, in facsimile of 
Carlyle's hand-writing : ' Gerald Carlyle Allingham, his little Cuppie. 
(T. C. 1875)' 

i876 LONDON 251 

on Tuesday about three, but he was gone out both 
times. To-day, about half past two, he and Mary 
called here ; they went into the parlour. C. looking 
well and very neatly dressed — a long dark frock-coat 
and a straw hat dyed black. Says he is rather better 
than he was. Goes out every day about two, takes an 
omnibus to the top of Regent Street, walks along Port- 
land Place and back again southward, and takes a 
Brompton omnibus back again. To-day he wished to 
walk with me. We went through S. K. station and up 
through Brompton Churchyard to Hyde Park, and by 
his favourite road, that between the Ride and the 
Serpentine, sitting down a while on a free bench. He 
has not been at the sea this year. ' Mary found a 
lodging at Littlehampton which she thought would do, 
but I dreaded noise. Have suffered dreadfully from 
sleeplessness lately.' 

We talked of the mischievousness and cruelty of 
many human beings. 

' Many children are taught no kind of feeling for 
others, and they come to care nothing about seeing or 
doing hurt ; it amuses them. When I was in the habit 
of riding about the suburbs of London, I found the 
populace looked upon me as a kind of strange unfortu- 
nate being, and the object they proposed to themselves 
for the moment was to make me as much more uncom- 
fortable as possible. One evening a crowd of idlers did 
their best to make my horse jump over the parapet of a 
small bridge. They didn't want me to be killed or 
smashed, I suppose — didn't think about it, only wanted 
some " fun." I rode through them, keeping my whip 
ready — I may very likely have administered a lash or 
two, I don't remember. Can you lend me some books ? 
I am much at a loss for a g-ood book. I took to 
Marlowe the other day, having heard much praise of 
him. He's utterly absurd and intolerable. Yes, his 
language is fine sometimes, but generally inflated beyond 
all measure.' 

252 LONDON 1876 

I quoted Ancient Pistol — 

And hollow pamper'd jades of Asia, 
Which cannot go but thirty miles a day ! 

a quiz on Marlowe, and C. laughed. Faustus — scene 
with the devils. * He's in terrible fear of the devils, 
and yet he doesn't believe in any devils.' 

W. A. — ' The Old Dramatists in general are very 

C. — ' Very, and Marlowe's the worst I have come 
across — entirely illogical and unreasonable. In fact not 
one but Shakespeare is worth anything. Well, Ben is 
sensible and able — rather prosaic' 

[C. said one day] — ' Ben Jonson had quite recog- 
nisably an Annandale face. His Father was an 
Annandale man, who spelt his name "Johnson." He 
moved to Carlisle, where Ben was born.' 

W. A. — ' Was his mother an Annandale woman ? ' 

C. — ' I know not, but very likely she was. When 
Johnson died, she married a bricklayer, who brought 
up young Ben to his trade.' 

Octoher 6. — Carlyle has been reading As You Like 
It. He said that ' After Swift (whom he had been 
looking into lately) it was like a sea-bath ; Shakespeare 
was a man of many tMts^ most delicate and sweet.' 
Carlyle always pronounced thoughts thus. It is touch- 
ing to find him, in his old age, turning so warmly 
to Shakespeare the Poet, and in his most poetical 



January 12. — With Carlyle — Christianity — age fifteen, 
spoke to his mother — her horror. ' Did God Almighty 
come down and make wheelbarrows in a shop ? ' She 
lay awake at night for hours praying and weeping 

' This went on about ten years. Goethe drove me 
out of it, taught me that the true things in Christianity 
survived and were eternally true ; pointed out to me 
the real nature of life and things — not that he did this 
directly ; but incidentally, and let me see it rather than 
told me. This gave me peace and great satisfaction.' 

In omnibus — ' I have a notion of a carriage for 
myself.' I approved — * but, oh dear ! I care little. I 
see nothing but the shadows of coming events and 
images of the past. They come back — very strange — 
most vividly, early things In my life. 

' I am much disappointed In my reading In the Greek 
dramatists — now reading Aristophanes, a blackguard 
fellow. Disappointed with the Tragic Dramatists, too. 
^schylus's Prometheus very striking. One thing struck 
me, the awful sense those Athenians, too, had of this 
Human Life of ours.' 

W. A.—' Alfierl— like Byron .? ' 

C. — ' Yes, something, more sense. Racine much 
the highest of the French Dramatists.' 

He then spoke of ' that woman too — what call 


254 LONDON 1877 

you her ? Prunty ? Bronte ? they are writing in such 
a solemn tone about, God bless me ! I remember 
reading her first novel and saying " this is a woman, and 
very nearly mad." 'Tis in that she gives us a wooden 
figure in the shape of a man, that gesticulates and 
curses by machinery.' 

* Rochester ^ ' 

' Ay, that's it ; not an atom of flesh and blood in it.' 

I told him Swinburne's verdict, * the one supreme 
masculine figure,' or something like that ; which amused 
him a little. I added that there was a good deal of 
real experience infused into Jane Eyre — and then let it 
drop. We parted at the hall door, he saying, ' I'm 
glad you are near me again. Come again soon.' 

Some consider Carlyle's Scottish dogmatic breeding 
to have been fortunate for him, but I cannot think so, 
even though he believed this himself. It was burned 
and branded into his youthful conscience and imagina- 
tion. It could not be made to fit in with ' facts ' — 
hence, what sufferings ! what rages ! He was con- 
temptuous to those who held to Christian dogmas ; he 
was angry with those who gave them up ; he was furious 
with those who attacked him. If equanimity be the 
mark of a Philosopher, he was, of all great-minded men, 

I' the least of a Philosopher. 
January 27. — To Carlyle about 10 in the evening — 
very friendly and sympathetic about Fraser — says he 
cannot at all understand Fr.'s conduct. * It may prove 
to be a good thing for you, after all. I often thought 
with dissatisfaction that you were giving up your time 
to this Magazine. You must write something valuable, 
as you are capable of doing.' He then praised Seven 
Hundred Tears Ago. * I have read nothing so good 
since in any Magazine.' ^ 

1 After Mr. Froude's return from his official Colonial tour, the renewal 
of his editorship of Eraser's Magazine was suggested, but the plan fell 
through, and AUingham was asked to continue the management : this he 
did until the publication of the Magazine ceased altogether, a few months 

1877 LONDON 255 

He came down to the street door and shook hands 
with me again on the door-step. 

Saturday^ March 3. — To C. about 2.30. Mary 
and Madame Venturi in parlour. Portrait of De 
Quincy — 'untruthful man; story of girl in Opium 
Eater all untrue.' 

At the top of Oakley Street we pause a moment at 
the crossing to let a hansom-cab go by, but the Driver 
on his part politely pulls up to give us time, saying, ' All 
right, Mr. Carlyle ! ' C. and I get inside an omnibus. 
Passing the Chinese Embassy we saw a servant in yellow 
silk, and C. was reminded of the Learned Man in The 
Two Fair Cousins, a Chinese novel which he always had 
pleasure in recalling. He began telling the story, and 
spoke as usual of the Author ' as a Man of Genius of the 
dragon pattern.' He asked, ' Do you know the root of 
the word ten } I made a guess at it when I was wash- 
ing my feet the other morning. Zehen is " toes " in 
German, and Zehn " ten " = " toe-en," as it were. I 
took up the Arabic numerals one day, and made out 
the meaning of the signs,' 

I told him of my guess of the forms of many letters 
of the alphabet coming from the shapes of the mouth 
in saying them ; which was new to him and not without 

April II. — C. very sympathetic about H.'s serious 
illness.^ Millais is to paint him. 

April 13. — Carlyle and Mary call : sorry about H. 

Wednesday, May 16. — C. and I in Brompton and 
Islington omnibus ; rain begins, and turns to a heavy 
pour : so not alighting at Oxford Circus we go on and 
on, to the Angel at last, and the omnibus stables, 
whence, after a wait in the yard, we return S.W. with 
fresh horses. C. shows me the street, next St. James's, 
Pentonville, where he had his first London lodging. 
Edward Irving lived in Myddelton Square. 

* After the birth of her daughter, Eva Margaret, on February 21st of 
this year, Mrs. Allingham was ill for several months. 

256 LONDON 1877 

Turkey — ' Dizzy wants a war, to show himself like 
a second Chatham. He's a very bad man.' 

Thursday, May 24. — Modern Atheism — CHfford, etc. 
C. said, * I know nothing whatever of God except what 
I find within myself — a feeling of the eternal difference 
between right and wrong.' 

June 24. — Carlyle is going through Gibbon's Decline 
and Fall (not read since his youth). ' I find it entirely 
below my expectations, the style is laboriously anti- 
thetical — and he doesn't lay out his history well ; there 
are many chapters where a mere tabular statement 
ought to have sufficed. I should have liked him also 
to hang out more frequent general elucidations in the 
way of dates. On the whole, it is very disappointing.' 

I reminded C. that Gibbon was one of the -writers 
whom he strongly recommended to me, many years ago, 
saying, ' Gibbon is always worth meeting.' He replied, 
' Oh, one must read Gibbon to get any insight into this 
wild history of mankind.' 

The New Republic rather amused him, but he ' could 
not believe the writer meant a single word he said.' 

October. — To C.'s about 3.30. Mrs. Lecky there. To 
Queen Anne St. and call on Erasmus Darwin. Talk of 
Mr. Martin's Biography. Carlyle wrote to Athenaeum : 
' Mr. Frederick Martin has no authority to concern 
himself with my life — of which he knows nothing.' 
He remarked that many old things came back clearly 
which he had not thought of for a great many years. 

I asked how far back his memory went. He told 
of something that happened when he was less than two 
years old. ' An uncle of mine sent me the gift of a 
small wooden can — they called it a noggie — to eat my 
porridge from. The can had two bottoms and some 
small pebbles between that rattled, — but this was a pro- 
found secret to me at the time, the source of the rattling. 
One day finding myself alone in the kitchen with my 
noggie, I conceived the scheme of making some porridge 
for myself, and for the first stage I poured water into 

1877 LONDON 257 

my noggie and set this on the kitchen fire to boil. 
After a little, however, it all suddenly blazed up, and 
out I rushed shrieking with terror — I was under two, I 
don't know how much. It must have been some 
months later, probably in 1798, that we moved from 
one house to another. A pathway and short-cut led 
between the two, across a field known to the satirical 
villagers as Pepper Field, because the owner was said 
to have made his fortune in the West Indies. I was 
allowed to suppose myself helping in the flitting, and I 
recollect very well carrying the stoup or nozzle of a 
watering pot across Pepper Field and blowing through 
it like a horn, feeling at the same time a great exulta- 
tion — some kind of false joy, I suppose, for I don't 
think I was very happy at the time.' 

Going out we found it was a quarter to six. ' Bless 
me ! ' said C, ' what an old fool I have been to sit there 
talking useless stuff when I ought to be at home,' and 
we hurried to the omnibus as fast as age allowed. He 
usually takes half an hour's sleep before dinner, and is 
very methodical in all his ways. 

C. to-day praised highly ' Modern Prophets ' in 
Eraser^ said it would be a satisfaction to many minds. 
' You have left these Prophets " sitting on their seats of 
honour," but you have been more good-natured to 
them than I could have been — though there is plenty 
of satirical pungency too.' 

He asks leave to send the article to his brother, and 
I tell him he is welcome to the copy. 

Saturday, October 27. — To C. about 4. C. and I 
to King's Road. Chelsea omnibus to Charing Cross. 
We walk down the Embankment as far as Somerset 
House, ' one of the most dignified buildings in London.' 

Browning's Agamemnon. ' Oh yes, he called down 
some months ago to ask if he might dedicate it to me. 
I told him I should feel highly honoured. But — O 
bless me ! Can you understand it, at all} I went carefully 
into some parts of it and for my soul's salvation 


258 LONDON 1877 

(laughs) couldn't make out the meaning. If any one 
tells me this is because the thing is so remote from us — 
I say things far remoter from our minds and experiences 
have been well translated into English. The book of 
Job, for instance. It's bad Hebrew, I understand, the 
original of it, and a very strange thing to us. But the 
translator said to himself, " the first thing I have to do 
is to make this as intelligible as possible to the English 
reader ; if I do not this I shall be — h'm — I shall be — 
in fact damnedy But he succeeded most admirably, 
and there are very few books so well worth reading as 
our Book of Job. 

' Yes, Browning says I ordered him to do this transla- 
tion — he winds up his preface (highly to his own 
satisfaction, in a neat epigrammatic manner) by saying 
so, — summing it all up in a last word ; and I did often 
enough tell him he might do a most excellent book, 
by far the best he had ever done, by translating the 
Greek Dramatists — but O dear ! he's a very foolish 
fellow. He picks you out the English for the Greek 
word by word, and now and again sticks two or three 
words together with hyphens ; then again he snips up 
the sense and jingles it into rhyme ! I could have 
told him he could do no good whatever under such 

C. spoke of Swinburne — ' there is not the least 
intellectual value in anything he writes.' 

We spoke of the convicts Baxter and Swindlehurst, 
and agreed that many business people of high repute 
(even including some publishers) deserved no better a 

November. — Carlyle, Lecky and I take omnibus to 
Oxford Street, then walk up Portland Place. 

The Brougham — ' Oh, I shall give that up — I find 
instead of it being mine, I should be its. I cannot go 
whither I would — the man cannot find out the places. 
Mary, I believe, has some other plot : I must keep my 
eye on her ! ' 

,877 LONDON 259 

Sunday, November 25. — Ask Tollman at new bridge, 

* Seen Mr. Carlyle ? ' 

' Yes, gone round other bridge, with two gentlemen.' 
I over and meet them in Battersea Park. Carlyle, Sir 
James Stephen, and a quick-eyed, good-looking, semi- 
American old young man who talks very fluently and 
well on China and Japan. * The Japanese are trying 
the languages and systems of England, France, 
Germany, Holland.' Describes the suicide, by order 
of the Tycoon, of a noble who fired on some foreigners : 
temple, by night — dirk or knife wrapt in silver paper 
on small table of white wood. Speech — bows — throws 
off upper garment — cuts his belly across — head cut off 
by friend. 

It is Mr. Mitford {Tales of Old Japan), now in the 
Woods and Forests Department. 

November 29. — ^Carlyle is very weary and depressed 
— 'unwilling to live longer — but must be patient. 
Mary is planning a horse and carriage. Omnibus has 
advantages and is decidedly economical — but a carriage 
might help me. But nothing can give me any 
satisfaction at this date I have arrived at,' he adds. 

* But I am better off than many a one. I am free of 
an irritability of nerves that tortured me a year ago. 
Things hurt me and rankled in me, I know not at all 
why. The recollection, for instance, of some man I 
knew forty years ago perhaps — often some one I had 
but the slightest acquaintance with, or only knew by 
eye — would suddenly, without any reason at all, come 
into my mind, and prick into me in the most painful 
manner. That is all over now.' 

December. — H. and I dined at Surgeon Clover's ; 
Mr. and Mrs. Stebbing, Mr, and Mrs. Townsend 
(^Spectator). Clover was at Chislehurst during last 
illness of the ' Emperor.' ' Empress very easy and 
pleasant, and seemed so well pleased with anything I 
^aid that I never felt more at ease in my life. 

' Emperor said, " Now, you'll do what you think fit 

26o LONDON 1877 

(about the chloroform), I know nothing about it." 
Once, after waking up from sleep, he sighed and said, 
" I thought I was at Sedan." 

' He forgot much of his English, not an unusual 
thing in illness. His brain was very large : it was 
weighed after his death and found to approach Cuvier's 
in weight.' I told Clover what I heard Owen say of 
him : Prince Louis Napoleon visited the Museum of 
the College of Surgeons while Owen was Curator, 
Owen observed him narrowly — ' And I came to the 
conclusion, from his whole appearance, and especially 
his i^ony conformation^ that he was certainly not of the 
Napoleon family,' 

December 5. — C.'s about 3.20 — dressing. Enter 
Mary : ' Flowers for Birthday yesterday, and letters, 

' Mme. Venturi came at \ past 1 1 at night — couldn't 
let her up ; we actually quarrelled, for the first time.' 

Carlyle and I in the Chelsea omnibus to Charing 
Cross : ' This is the second day of my eighty-third 
year — no doubt of that ! Browning came down yester- 
day, he has a great deal to say about many things. I 
must go and see him, I told him frankly about the 
Agamemnon^ after praising his fidelity, that I could make 
nothing of his translation — could not understand it — 
, had to turn to the Jesuit's book, R. B. admitted that 
all said it was of no use.' 

(I spoke of Athenaeum and Academy^ which praised 

C. — ' I still exhorted him to give us, as the best 

\ possible thing, a Greek Theatre, done like that from 

Euripides in Balaustion. He said the Agamemnon text 

.; is exceedingly corrupt (only one MS. known in the 

f world), much mauled by commentators.' 

We walk to Bedford Street — Civil Service Stores. 
Can't at first find the clothing department. Carlyle has 
a coat tried on (after careful inquiries as to whether 
this is the coat ordered at such a time — and ' is this the 
man that took my measure.'' etc, etc.'). Walk back 

i877 LONDON 261 

to Charing Cross. He speaks oi" Johnson's house in 
Gough Square, praises once more the English Dictionary. 
Asks me what number of Fraser ' Modern Prophets ' 
is in ? a blind old gentleman in Scotland wishes to 
have it read to him. 

C. asks me about MacMahon, and says, ' In a 
century or less all Europe will be republican — demo- 
cratic ; nothing can stop that. And they are finding 
out their old religions, too, to be mere putrid heaps of 

Friday^ December 21. — To Carlyle's. Louis 
Napoleon — ' Met him at dinner — he made up to me 
rather, understanding me to be a writer, who might 
perhaps be of help to him somehow. His talk was a 
puddle of revolutionary nonsense. He was internally 
a mass of darkness. I used to meet him often in the 
street, mostly about Sloane Square, driving a cab, with 
a little tiger behind ; his face had a melancholy look 
that was rather affecting at first, but I soon recognised 
that it was the sadness of an Opera Singer who cannot 
get an engagement. When I heard of him afterwards 
as Emperor, I said to myself, " Gad, sir, you've got an 
opera engagement such as no one could possibly have 
expected ! " ' 

[One day the following talk took place.] 

Carlyle, Lecky and I. 

C. praised Sir Robert Peel, ' the only tolerably good 
minister I have known.' Catholic Emancipation : 
' Peel resisted that a long time,' L. said. 

C. — ' He could not venture sooner. You have no 
notion what a feeling there was against it. In our 
country, at least in the southern part, I knew of only 
one other person besides myself who was in favour of it.' 

L. — ' Lord Melbourne said, " All the wise men in 
the kingdom were of one opinion on this, and all the 

d d fools of the other ; and it turned out that all 

the d d fools were right ! " ' 

C. — ' Ouite true.' 



Thursday^ January 10. — Fine but cold. To C. about 
2.30, and drive with him in brougham, Lecky with us, 
by Clapham, etc. He insists that Wandsworth is 
' Wodensworth ' ; I bring up the River Wandle, and 
he makes out Wandle to be ' Woden's Dale.' He 
then speaks of Ireland and Cromwell, we (especially L.) 
silently dissenting. We drive in Richmond Park, see 
deer ; get out and walk a little. Pass near Owen's 
cottage and see a man like O., but who turns out not 
to be any such man. 

C. speaks with his usual contempt of Parliament, 
but allows that it gives a safety-valve. 

; January 23. — Carlyle and I drive in brougham to 
Richmond Park : ' People set about writing History in 
an entirely wrong manner. They ought to try and see 

I the people and events, and set them forth in due order 

^ and all possible clearness.' 

On health C. said, ' I have had stomachic disturbance 
ever since I was twenty ; otherwise quite healthy. It is 
very curious, the head is still the same, only the 
interest in things is nearly gone. I long ago felt that 
the greatest comfort was to be able to say, " This will 
not last for ever." Death is welcome whenever it comes. 
One thing is firmly held to — God, who arranges and 
decides all : this I am thankful to say I keep. And 
whoever uses honestly the light placed in his own mind, 



i878 LONDON 263 

acts as the voice of God telJs him, will find satisfaction 
therein, and not otherwise.' 

Saturday^ February 20. — To C. We drive to Queen 
Anne St. and visit Erasmus Darwin in his warm 
house (which he does not leave at this season). Talk 
of Lecky's book ; of Turkey, etc. C. says, ' Dizzy was 
on the point, months ago, of sending a fleet to Con- 
stantinople. I wrote a letter in the newspaper — it was 
no merit in me ; the information was given me from 
unquestionable authority, and his scheme was blown up as 
by a torpedo ! He thought of bringing me before the 
House of Commons to be questioned as to my authority ; 
but I was very easy about this, as I understood from a 
competent adviser that I had nothing to do but say, " I 
will not tell you." ' 

Saturday^ March 2. — Carlyle, Dr. Carlyle and I to 
King's Road and have our hair cut. I keep a lock of 
C.'s, which has still some brown in it. He says, ' Curious 1 
— that head (the Doctor's) is five or six years younger 
than mine, the hair much whiter — softer too.' 

We go in omnibus to Charing Cross. 

C. — ' Dizzy will not be allowed by the country to go 
to war. People show the most complete ignorance of 
Russia — talk like so many raging jackasses.' 

We spoke of Lionel Tennyson's wedding ; going to 
Spain for the honeyrhoon. 

Monday^ March 1 1. — To Cheyne Row 2.30. Drive 
to Dover St. C. speaks with admiration of Ruskin. 
' A celestial brightness in him. His description of the 
wings of birds the most beautiful thing of the kind that 
can possibly be. His morality, too, is the highest and 
purest. And with all this a wonderful folly at times ! 
The St. George's Company is utterly absurd. I thought 
it a joke at first.' 

March 29. — To C. at 2.30 ; with him and Mrs. 
Lecky in brougham to Browning's, 19 Warwick 
Crescent. B. (in rough gray dress) received C. with 
great emphasis. 

264 LONDON 1878 

' How good and dear of you to come ! dear Mr. 
Carlyle ! How dear ! ' and took him upstairs on his 
[ arm. 

^ Pen's large picture in drawing-room, ' The Worker 

in Brass, Antwerp,' intended for Royal Academy. 
Old man with hammer and punch finishing a metal dish 
with rim of dolphins — medallion of Rubens on the floor 
— pipe on stool — watch hanging on wall. 

C, placed in an arm-chair, looked at the picture 
without speaking ; B. went on describing it, from time 
to time. At last C. said, looking at B., ' Antwerpen — 
on the wharf — that is the meaning of the name. It 
used to be said there was hand in it, but that is not so. 
On the wharf \s the meaning.' 

C. asked questions about Pen ; asked me, is the 
medallion like Rubens ? but said nothing of the Picture. 

C. asked B. the name of his new poem, but B. 
evaded. * I'll let it speak for itself.' We departed ; 
B. giving his arm to C. downstairs and out to the 

C. spoke of Darwinism. ' I don't care three ha'pence 
for the Darwinian Theory.' By and by he said, ' It 
is impossible to believe otherwise than that this world 
is the work of an Intelligent Mind, The Power which 
has formed us — He (or It — if that appears to any one 
more suitable) has known how to put into the human 
soul an ineradicable love of justice and truth. The 
best bit for me in Kant is that saying of his, " Two 
things strike me dumb with astonishment — the Starry 
Heavens and the Sense of Right and Wrong in the 
Human Soul." 

' These physical gentlemen ought to be struck 
dumb if they properly consider the nature of the 

Mrs. Lecky suggested that investigation as well as 
reverence was natural to man, and would not Mr. 
Carlyle permit inquiry "? 'Oh yes,' he said (half jestingly), 
' man is full of curiosity — but I would order these 


1878 SHERE 265 

people to say as little as possible. Friedrich Wilhelm's 
plan would be the right one with them, " Hold your 
tongue or else — " ' 

Carlyle has taken again to reading Goethe. 

Saturday, March 30. — Helen and I to an evening 
party at Tennyson's at 14 Eaton Square. Arrive 9.30. 
Mrs, Tennyson on sofa. Mrs. Thackeray Ritchie and 
husband, Browning, Gladstone and Mrs. Gladstone, 
Paget, Duke of Argyll and daughter, Messrs. Matthew 
Arnold, Lewis Morris, E. Gurney, F. Pollock. 
Joachim plays ; T. and myself at end of piano. 

He asks, ' Have you any politics .'' ' Says, ' I can't 
agree with you about Russia — you're a damned Irish- 
man ! I've hated Russia ever since I was born, and 
I'll hate her till I die ! ' 

W. A. — ' What do you think of Dizzy .? ' 

T. — ' I hate Dizzy, and I love Gladstone ; still, I 
want Russia snubbed.' 

Spedding joined the conversation, and was also 
against Russia as Russia. (Carlyle always supports 
Russia as Russia.) 

F. Locker, Aide, Mrs. Huxley (asks us for Sunday 
week), Huxley girls. 

May 2. — We all go to Shere, H. and I, Sonny and 
Sissy. Cottage delightful — woods — bluebells. 

[The AUinghams stayed all the summer in Mr. 
Bray's pretty old cottage — AUingham, as usual, busy 
with his own work, besides Fraser ; his wife painting 
' every day most assiduously.' There were pleasant 
m.eetings with friends, too — Mr. Vernon Lushington, 
Mrs. and Miss Procter (Mrs. P. ' loved the country — 
for a few days ' !), Mr. and Mrs. Richmond Ritchie, 
Mrs. Coleman Angell and her husband. But there are 
no notes of talks at this time. 

Allingham ' visited old John Linnell at his house 
near Red Hill — eighty-six in June — deaf — hand steady': 
also went to see George Eliot, at the Heights, Witley.] 

October 24. — Chelsea. Returned after six months 


266 LONDON 187S 

in the country (Shere and Dover). Mary Aitken came 
in the evening. Her uncle is v^ell. 

October 26. — To Carlyle's to-day about three, and 
find him looking well. Mr. Paul Friedmann. 

C, F., and 1 drive to Regent's Park, where I get 
out. We talk of Shere Ali ; of Dizzy ; ' England is 
disgraced ; never before has she had such a man at 
her head.' 

Heligoland agitating to join Germany, Carlyle 
asks, ' was there an old religious establishment there 1 ' 

Friedmann explains, ' Not HeiRgo but i7(?//goland, 
which in old German means a rocky and sandy island. 
The people,' he added, ' were pirates and wreckers and 
would fain be so still. They will probably repent of 
joining Germany. England may some day give the 
island to Germany as quid pro quo."* 

Monday, October 28. — Go down to C.'s at 5 p.m. 
on business (M.'s American Railway Shares). C. (re- 
turned from his drive) comes into the drawing-room 
in his dressing-gown and sits down on the floor by 
the fireside, his back to the wall, his face guarded from 
the heat by a small screen hanging from the chimney- 
piece. Rose, a sturdy young serving-wench of rather 
rough manners, puts on his cap (which is shown in some 
of H.'s drawings), hands him his pipe, ready filled, 
and a spill — then a second spill, to provide against 
failure of the first. He lights his pipe and smokes. 

' Mrs. Oliphant's book gives no picture of Irving, 
except in the letters to his wife — Irving was, on the 
whole, the finest fellow I have ever come across ' (and 
yet, one must again reflect, what a fiitility was his life !) 

Wednesday, October 30. — 10 p.m. Carlyle and Mary 
call at our house and come upstairs — talk about Albury, 
' Henry Drummond ; he invited me to Albury for a 
certain Saturday. I went, but D. was not there. The 
servant evidently took me to have felonious intentions ; 
but discovered by degrees I was not for stealing anything.' 

C. tastes Helen's cup of milk. I show him engraved 

i878 LONDON 267 

portrait of old Mr. William Bray/ in his ninety-seventh 
year, and tell him of my visit to old John Linnell 
(himself approaching ninety now), the painter and 
engraver of it, and how I saw a portrait of Carlyle in 
the studio, done some fifty years ago. C. remembers 
sitting for it. 

' Entire failure as a likeness : was done for a Mr. 
Cunningham, who would not have anything to do with 
it when finished.' 

Carlyle, coming away one day from a friend's house 
where they had had a good luncheon, patted his niece 
on the shoulder saying, ' Well Mary, we've had a 
pleasant visit — but we're both rather drunk ! ' Mary 
declared she had only taken water. 

Wednesday^ November 6. — H. went again to-day 
about 12.30 to C.'s, and brought back two life-like 
sketches in colour. He was mild and genial to-day, 
and bade her come again. 

C. said to me, ' Your wife is the only person who 
has made a successful portrait of me, though many 
have tried.' 

November 14. — To Carlyle's at 2.30, and found 
him stepping — slowly climbing — into the usual hired 
carriage. He said, ' I feel I may die any time.' 

I asked, ' Did you ever in early life think yourself 
near death } ' 

' Never,' he answered ; and then went on to tell 
me of his Uncle Tom, the youngest of the brothers 
— of a fine Roman character ; ' I looked up to him 
with the greatest admiration and respect. He was ill, 
and my mother used to sit up with him at night. (He 
seems to have lived either in the same house or an 
adjoining one.) One night I took the watch upon me, 
to relieve her — I was about nineteen years of age — 
and in the middle of the night it became clear that my 
uncle was dying. He fixed his eyes upon me with a 

1 Given to Allingham by Mr. Bray of Shcre ; now in Mrs Allingham's 

268 LONDON 1878 

wild stare — bright blue eyes — and tried to lift his head 
from the pillow, but could not do it, and the eyes kept 
wide open till life went out of them — ah dear ! — it was 
about three in the morning. It was then I first began 
to make reflections upon death. He had no disease — 
a general break-up, mostly from hard work.' 

' Had you any kind of orthodox belief in your mind 
at that time ? ' 

' No, I had given all that up some time before, but 
I said nothing about it one way or another. I had 
asked my mother one day how it was known that 
Solomon's Song was symbolical, representing Christ and 
the Church, and she showed such boundless horror at 
my question that I resolved on silence thenceforth.' 

C. spoke of the folly of Tyndall and others who 
went on about the origin of things ; ' I long ago 
perceived that no man could know anything about that ; 
but that the Universe could come together by chance 
was, and is, altogether incredible. The evidence to me 
of God — and the only evidence — is the feeling I have 
deep down in the very bottom of my heart of right and 
truth and justice. I believe that all things are governed 
by Eternal Goodness and Wisdom, and not otherwise ; 
but we cannot see and never shall see how it is all 

December 3. — To Carlyle's. Found Browning in 
the drawing-room, talking earnestly to him — 'and 
here's AUingham '—talk. Lord Beaconsfield. Browning 
— ' I met him at dinner last spring, and he was got up 
to look as much like a young man as he could.' 

I. — ' Had you any talk with him ? ' 

B. — ' Oh yes ; he came up and said, " I daresay 
you don't recollect me " ; I assured him I did. 

' Then he said, " Oh yes, I remember you did me the 
honour to introduce yourself to me at the Academy 

' I said, " I beg your pardon, it was you who did me 
that honour." ' 

1878 LONDON 269 

Decejnber 4. — Carlyle's birthday. Helen and I 
went down about 2.30., and met the carriage, which pulled 
up and allowed us to shake hands. Mary, Mrs. Lecky 
and Mr. Graham were with him. He does not like 
more than just a greeting on his birthday. 

December 5. — Carlyle, Mary and I in carriage — drove 
along the Embankment and stopped to see Cleopatra's 
Needle. C. put his head out of window and took one 
look, then leaned back, 'Ah yes — old Egyptian hands 
made that a long time ago.' 

We drove to Tower Hill. 

I asked him a question to-day I had often wished to 
ask : ' Do your thoughts ever turn to another life .'* ' 
He answered : ' Oh, every day and every hour.' Then 
he went on to say, in slow semi-soliloquy, ' We know 
nothing. All is, and must be, utterly incomprehensible. 
Annihilation would be preferable to me to this state I 
am in. But I hold with Goethe ' (and he repeated the 
verses in his own translation) — 

/The Future hides in it 
Gladness and sorrow ; 
We press still thorow. 
Nought that abides in it 
Daunting us, — onward. 

And solemn before us, 
Veiled, the dark Portal, 
Goal of all mortal : — 
Stars silent rest o'er us, 
Graves under us silent ! 

'That is very fine,' he said, giving these two lines 
again — 

Stars silent rest o'er us, 
Graves under us silent ! 

Then went on- 

While earnest thou gazest, 
Comes boding of terror, 
Come phantasm and error. 
Perplexes the bravest 
With doubt and misgiving. 

270 LONDON 1878 

But heard are the Voices, — 
Heard are the Sages, 
The Worlds and the Ages : 
' Choose well ; your choice is 
Brief and yet endless. 

Here eyes do regard you, 

In Eternity's stillness ; 

Here is all fulness, / 

Ye brave, to reward you ; 

Work, and despair not.' 

The last seven lines he gave with special distinctness. 
Meanwhile we were driving slowly, with frequent stops, 
through the dingy crowded Minories and Leadenhall 

By and by he said, ' A thought that bewilders me 
sometimes is the prodigious number of human beings 
who have come and gone.' 

W. A. — ' Against this we can set the immeasurable 
Space around us and its innumerable Worlds.' 

C. — ' I care very little about the stars. I look 
round upon my fellow-creatures.' 

W. A. — ' But the multitude of mighty Globes is a 
physical fact, as much as any other.' 

C. — ' Yes ' (letting the subject drop). 

Again he resumed. ' One thing Browning told me 
the other day was a saying of Huxley's, " In the 
beginning was hydrogen." Any man who spoke thus in 
my presence I would request to be silent — " No more of 
that stuff, sir, to me ! (angrily). If you persevere I 
will take means, such as are in my power, to get quit of 
you without delay." ' 

To Carlyle's. Mr. Paul Friedmann. We three 
drove out. Talk on Prussian affairs, and especially 
Bismarck, whom F. thinks a despot. I was surprised 
at C.'s not coming forward to defend the Chancellor, 
but he seems to have got fresh lights on B.'s character 
lately. He remarked, ' I hear he is a terrible fellow at 
eating and drinking.' F. confirmed this, adding ' he 
says himself he never gets drunk, but his friends do not 

1878 LONDON 271 

say so.' The book of conversations with B.'s secretary, 
just pubhshed, was mentioned. I asked, ' was it 
authentic ^ ' ' Oh yes, it could not have been published 
without B.'s full consent. His object is to keep himself 
before the public' 

We then spoke of Morganatic marriages, on which F. 
gave copious and apparently accurate information. He 
said the ceremony is in no way peculiar, (he never heard 
of the left hand being used) nor the status of the wife : the 
only difference being in the succession of the children. 

C. and F. entirely agreed with me as to the absurdity 
of writing histories of centuries, or of treating those 
artificial sections as real. The practice is very modern. 
Histories of reigns, of great wars, or of famous person- 
ages, were the usual forms of writing. 

C. often declared that the driver was going wrong — 
at last thrust his head suddenly out of the window, and 
roared ' Where in the Devil's Grandmother's name are 
you going ? ' 

Carlyle has allowed Helen to sketch him as he reads 
in his drawing-room from 12 to 2.30, and she has had 
six sittings up to December 9. Helen writes — 

' The first morning I went at Mary's invitation ; 
after shaking hands with me C. left the room ; when he 
returned I had arranged my things on the sofa, and M. 
then called his attention to " our special artist." He 
said " What ? " and added, when he understood, " I'll 
have nothing to do with any sketching." 

' At last M. persuaded him to let me stay, and he 
sat down before the fire to read a translation of a 
Russian poem (lent by Madame de Novikoff^ ; he called 
the poet a " blathering blellum." 

' He often expressed a weariness of life, and wished 
to be out of it ; and one day taking leave said, " Well, 
ma'am, I wish you all prosperity, and that you may not 
live to be seventy-two " (meaning eighty-two). 

* One day he said, " As far as I can make out, the 
best portrait-painter who ever lived was one Cooper, in 





Cromwell's time. When painting Cromwell, Cromwell 
told llim to put in the wart, and he did. I have spent 
much time in studying Cromwell's physiognomy." ' 

' Every day he asked after " AUingham and the 
bairns." ' 

Sunday^ December 29, — Carlyle and I in omnibus. 
Rain, so we did not alight at Charing Cross, and 
I suggested our going into St. Paul's — to which, to 
my surprise, he agreed. He h^"n6t been there for 
many years. We ascended the west steps and went in 
by right-hand door. C. immediately pulled off his 
broad hat and we soon, arm-in-arm, turned into centre 
aisle. The Cathedral was lighted up and a sermon 
going on under the Dome. 

C. said, ' Ah, this is a fine place ! ' 

I found seats on the edge of the seated congregation, 
where we had a good view up into the dim dome and 
along the vista of the choir. We could hear the 
preacher's voice but not the words. I tried to keep 
him till the end and the organ music. 

' There is no doubt a very fine organ,' he said, ' and 
the Amen comes like nothing else in the world.' But 
by and by he became impatient : ' We can hear nothing — 
let us go.' So we glided out of our places, and went 
to look at the Wellington Monument, but he declared 
he could make out nothing of it. 

He was full of praises of Wren and his work — ' the 
grandest Cathedral he had ever seen,' — and spoke of his 
first day in London. 

He arrived by water from Leith, and went up to 
Islington to Edward Irving whose guest he was. In 
the evening he found himself in view of St. Paul's, and 
has never forgotten the sight of it rising above the 
crowd of little houses. 

We walked up and down St. Paul's Churchyard, and 
looked up at the dome—' Ay, it's a bonny thing.' 

' Wren — a grand man — I lived for many years beside 
this Hospital of his before I took much notice of it. 

,878 LONDON 273 

and then I began to perceive that it was a building of 
most thorough adaptation for its purpose — well con- 
trived, well built in every particular.' 

I remarked and C. agreed it was odd there should 
be no street in all London called after the great 

When we parted he said, ' You have brought me 
along in a most beautiful manner to-day — many thanks.' 


In the cold weather of the early part of the year I 
saw Carlyle seldom. But in the end of January and in 
February I had three or four drives with him. 

Our visit to St. Paul's pleased him so well that he 
went there on the five or six Sunday afternoons follow- 
ing with Mary, and was much impressed by the organ. 

One Saturday we drove in Richmond Park, C, Mr. 
Friedmann and L 

F. spoke of Kant, and that the Germans were re- 
turning to him, which I was very glad to hear, C. 
said [as often before], ' Kant's notions of time and space 
struck me very much : I have felt greatly oppressed in 
thinking of the long duration of Time Past, and Kant 
offered a relief in the suggestion that Time may be 
something altogether different from what we imagine, 
I have no kind of definite belief or expectation what- 
ever as to the Future — only that all will be managed 
with wisdom, the very flower of wisdom,' 

Another day, he and I drove through Clerkenwell 
by a half-finished new street, and turned up to King's 
Cross : I reminded him of Swedenborg as we passed 
the corner of the jail, on which by the by is inscribed 
' Mount Pleasant.' 

He said, ' Ah yes, Swedenborg was fond of London. 
I never got much good of him. Emerson says he 
came nearer the secret of the world than almost any- 
body, but I never could see that he came near any 


274 LONDON 1879 

secret at all. Still, I have a respect for him : I read 
his books with considerable interest.' 

A long time ago, speaking to me of Swedenborg, 
C. said, ' he upset his platter ' : this is probably a pro- 
verbial expression. 

February 22. — Drove with Carlyle. — Darwin and 
Haeckel. C. : ' For Darwin personally I have great 
respect ; but ail that of " Origin of Species," etc., is of 
little interest to me. What we desire to know is, who 
is the Maker ? and what is to come to us when we have 
shuffled off this mortal coil. Whoever looks into him- 
self must be aware that at the centre of things is a 
mysterious Demiurgus — who is God, and who cannot 
in the least be adequately spoken of in any human words.' 

March. — I asked C. if he was going to St. Paul's 
to-morrow. — ' I think not, after what I got at West- 
minster Abbey last Sunday ! ' ,.^— .^- --™».«^- 

W. A. — ' How did you like the preacher } * 
C. — ' Like him (glaring). I felt a very strong 
appetite to lay my stick about his head ! I did not 
say this aloud, but I thought it emphatically.' 

* What was the sermon about .'' ' 

* Oh, something about adversity and affliction, and 
what fine things they are. I should say he would be 
highly unwilling to undergo the slightest affliction he 
could escape.' Then, raising his voice, * Oh, it's per- 
fectly horrible — what was once a religious worship ! 
He would have been greatly surprised if he could have 
looked into me and have seen the strokes that were 
prepared for him, and the kicks on his seat of honour.' 

We then spoke of Dean Stanley, and C. repeated 
his old saying about him that * he skated on the 
thinnest ice of any theologian he had ever heard of.' 
He added, ' but you can see when you look at his 
face that he has no misgivings about the part he is 
playing : he holds there are fine things underlying all 

Drove with Carlyle. C. and I spoke of Hamlet. 

,879 LONDON 275 

C. said he was much struck on reading Hamlet again. 
He made light of the difficulty about ^ no traveller 
returns.' — * Oh, Shakespeare found it wonld not do to 
bring in the ghost when he was discussing these grave 
matters : Hamlet did not really believe in the ghost.' 
I told him of the curious point as to the description 
of the plot of the strolling actors' play beforehand by 
one of the players : that it had been discovered that 
this was customary in Denmark in old times, though 
no instance of it is known in England. 

About this time Carlyle's health suddenly worsened : 
beginning it was thought from a chill, and the action of 
his heart. He became alarmingly weak. He ceased 
for a time to drive out : was very languid and slept 
much : he sometimes looked very sunken and low. 

One day I went down and creeping into the 
drawing-room found him asleep on the sofa : — creeping 
back again I met Ruskin coming up the stairs, by 
appointment. Mary said it was time to awaken him 
and did so. They greeted each other affectionately, 
and Ruskin knelt on the floor, leaning over Carlyle as 
they talked. Carlyle began to speak of Irish saints, 
and referred to me for some account of Saint Bridget 
and her shrine at Kildare, to which I added that Bride- 
Well, that is St. Bride's well, had come to mean a prison. 

This seemed to interest Ruskin particularly, and he I 
remarked, ' We make prisons of the holiest and most 
beautiful things ! ' 

He then took leave, very affectionately kissing 
Carlyle's hands ; and he and I walked together to my j 
house where he greeted Helen with much empresse- i 
ment^ and sat for about half an hour looking at her 
drawings. He examined them through a pocket-micro- 
scope : ' I am glad to see you paint sunshine : I am 
always wanting Walter [Severn] to do so : he can paint 
rainbows, but he prefers to paint gray days.' A lady 
present remarked, ' There are so many gray days.' 

Ruskin. — ' The Devil sends them.' 

276 LONDON 1879 

The lady thought they had a charm ; but Ruskin 
insisted that they always came from diabolical influence. 
Sunday, May 4. — To Cheyne Row about 2.15. C. 
complained, in her presence, of Mary's having ordered 
the carriage to come to-day : he wanted to go in the 
omnibus. I proposed to take him ; and, the carriage 
not appearing in time, we walked slowly to Oakley 
Street and got into his favourite vehicle — his first trip 
of the kind these many weeks. The conductor showed 
special attention, and C. got his favourite seat, namely, 
next the door on the left-hand side — that on which the 
conductor's perch is. At Temple Bar we got out, and 
he consented to come into the Middle Temple, where 
he said he had never been before in his life. We 
entered, after a shght demur of the janitor (it being 
Sunday), by the gate and lane leading to the porch of 
the Temple Church. ' Close by,' I said, ' is Goldsmith's 
grave.' 'Where is it .'' ' said C, and crept slowly on 
my arm till we stood beside the simple but sufficient 
monument, a stone about coffin length, and eighteen 
inches high, I read aloud the inscriptions ; C. took 
; off his broad-flapped black hat saying, ' A salute.' I 
1: followed his example, and thus we stood for a few 
seconds. When our hats were on and we were turning 
away, C. laughed and said, ' Strange times, Mr. Rigma- 
role ! ' Then, * Poor Oliver ! — he said on his deathbed, 
" I am not at ease in my mind." ' 

We now heard the organ rolling in the Church, and 
C. said, ' Can't we go in and sit down there ^. ' We 
went to the porch, the great door yielded and showed 
us, better than I hoped, plenty of seats just inside. 
I We sat down in the middle of the round part. I 
' showed C. the recumbent figures of Templars, and he 
said, with rather alarming audibility, ' Aye, they were 
so poor that two of them rode on one horse, and they 
were the richest and powerfullest of orders in their 
day.' Then the organ and chanting began and filled 
us both with responsive waves of feeling. 

i879 LONDON 277 

Carlyle said one day, ' Black's Oliver Goldsmith is 
v/orth nothing at all, he gives no credible Goldsmith.' 

Friedmann. — ' The Vicar of Wakefield is given to 
young Germans for their first book in English.' 

C. — ' I read the Vicar again lately, and was dis- 

W. A. thought the latter part of it much below 
the beginning. 

Monday^ June 10. — Helen, I and Sonny call at 
Carlyle's about 2. Sonny (aged 3 J) says, 'How do 
you do, Mr. Carlyle } ' C. shakes hands with him, and 
puts a hand on the curly head, saying ' O, this is a very 
good kind of article.' 

[One day Mr. Lecky and AUingham drove out with 

Carlyle discoursed on Cromwell and Ireland : L. and 
I disagreeing with almost everything he said, but chiefly 
in silence. What use in speaking ? on Irish affairs he 
finds nobody but Froude to agree with him. The Duke 
of Wellington — ' Lord Stanhope (L. told us) asked the 
Duke one day in company. Why in a certain Peninsular 
battle the French did not move in such and such a way } ' 
— obviously, he implied, the proper thing to have done. 
(Any one who has seen Lord Stanhope can easily picture 
the self-satisfied manner in which the noble historian 
would put this question.) The old Duke replied gruffly, 
' Because they were not damned fools ! ' 

September 2. — Left home about 9 — Lancaster — 
Carnforth — to the westward wide hills and vales and 
misty mountain-land, ante-room and portals to the Lake 

Kendal, scatter of houses along the hill-side ; and 
Lake-land, lying under clouds and mists. 

Ullswater in the twilight, water gray and wintry, 
woods and mountains beautiful, old trees hanging into 

September 3. — To Patterdale — xA.ira Force — Penrith. 
— Dumfries, Hotel. Read in Burns's Life. 

278 DUMFRIES 1879 

September 4. — Dumfries, Seek Burns Street, not 
easy to find — formerly ' Mill Hole.' New School 
House with bust of R. B. ; and next door Burns's little 
house, unaltered. Into the house. Portrait of R. B. 
in lower room. Upstairs, — little room where he died 
(certain .''), little closet where 'tis said he used to write. 
Walk over Old Bridge, lane, thatched cottages — corn- 
fields, hills, Criffel, wide cheerful prospect. 

Cassilands — ' Mr. Carlyle gone — to the Hill,' I walk 
down to town — speak to decent elderly man. 'Mr. 
Carlyle ? — yes — he's been stopping here at Cassilands. 
I never heard much about him till last year — I under- 
stan' he's vera clever. No Sir, I never read any o' his 
warks. What may he hae written ? ' (I told him.) 

To the Hill, pretty red-stone house, in shrubbery, 
with peep of the hills to eastward. 

Portraits of Carlyle, Mary — Enter Mrs. Aitken. 
The Doctor very ill, poor fellow : they don't know 
what it is. A doctor has been here, ' but you know he 
(i.e. Dr. Carlyle) has no belief in medical skill.' T. C. 
with Mary and Alick, at Moffat.^ 

Out. River, sweeping round, houses, low wall — 
beautiful. Up Nith pathway, trees, fields, swift river 
(reminds me of Erne). 

' Globe Tavern ' — small snug rooms, Burns's corner 
and chair (boarded in), narrow forked entrance — rough 
stable-yard — upstairs, writing on panes. 

Gin a body meet a body 

Comin' through the grain. 
Gin a body kiss a body 

The thing's a body's ain. 

(There was, and perhaps is, a way through the 
stable-yard and back lanes from the ' Globe ' to Burns's 
house in Mill Hole.) 

I also saw where he lived in Bank Street (i.e. river- 

* Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Carlyle, newly married, had just been joined 
by Mr. Carlyle at MofFat. 

i879 MOFFAT 279 

bank ?) a few doors from the corner of the wide space 
by the River (which reminded me of Ballyshannon). 

September 5. — To Beattock — Moffat. Buccleuch 
Arms — enter Mary, friendly greetings — then Alex- 
ander. We go up into Carlyle's room — he shakes 
hands in friendly wise. 

After luncheon we four drive to the De'il's Beef-Tub. 

Mary recalled Carlyle's first journey to Edinburgh, 
on foot, at the age of fourteen. 

C. — ' Ah yes — about seventy years ago, I came 
through here, in the charge of a very decent man who 
was driving two carts of potatoes up to Edinburgh. 
When I got tired, he let me lie on the potatoes and 
happed me in some sort of covering he had.' 

On this youthful journey Carlyle peeped at the 
source of the Annan in the De'il's Beef-Tub — a hollow 
under Hartfell with steep sloping green sides, here and 
there a streak of loose stones, and some little threads of 
water slipping down. 

Over the hill, not far, is the source of Tweed, which 
I would fain have seen (there is a strong attraction in 
river sources), but rain threatened. We saw a long 
way down Annandale : Annan is doubtless the same as 
Avon, Evan, etc. etc. — various forms of one of the 
Gaelic words for water. 

To-night we took up Burns, and Carlyle urged me 
to read something — ' Let me see how you'll read it.' 
I began ' The muckle deevil wi' a woodie Harle.' 

He stopt me at every line, catechising. He then 
read and repeated several pieces, showing great tenacity 
and readiness of memory. He uttered a verse of ' Auld 
Lang Syne ' in a kind of chant, evidently intended to 
suggest that he was singing it, or could sing it if he 
liked. One word of his version was different from 
the words in the usual copies, and perhaps better : 
instead of 

An' here's a hand, my trusty fiere, 
An' gie's a hand o' thine — 





C. said, 

— gic's a haud (a hold) o' thine. 

September 6. — Moffat. Fine. In open carriage, C, 
M., A., and I for Ecclefechan ; tKey going on to 
Newlands to meet James Carlyle and others. 

At Lockerbie we stopt half an hour to bait the 
horses. I walked through the village and returning to 
the carriage found him seated there (horses gone) with 
his thick gray hair uncovered. Barefooted children ran 
about, people stood at shop-doors, no one appeared to 
F recognise him. As we approached Ecclefechan he talked 
a little of the localities, pointed out the wooded hill 
called Woodcockair, and Repentance Tower — also the 
conspicuous flat - topt hill known as ' Burnswark ' 
[Birrenswark], from which one can ' look down into 
Yorkshire,' and on which stood a Roman city. We 
' skirted Ecclefechan, and they drove on after dropping 
me. A (tw steps brought me into the village street 
and before the humble house, or half-house, in which 
Thomas Carlyle was born. The small stone building 
has a gateway through the middle of it. On each side 
of this gateway is a tenement — of three rooms. In 
the right-hand tenement, in the [larger] room upstairs, 
the son of James and Margaret Carlyle was born on 
the '4th December 1795. The ascent to the upper 
rooms is by a steep flight of stone steps direct from 
the front door to a very small landing, from which the 
little room (birth-room) opens. Behind the tenement 
are two or three other rooms. 

A brook emerges from an arch a little above the 
Carlyle house, and runs down past half a dozen houses 
— a source of perpetual pleasure to the tairns, some of 
whom are always ' paidling ' and trying to catch little 
fishes, which they call ' beardies.' In the other half of 
the house I found a girl of nineteen. After some chat 
I inquired had she ever seen Mr. Carlyle ^. ' O aye, 
often enough.' ' Would you like to see him again ? ' 


At half-past four, as agreed, the carriage came, and 
stopt to take me up. Two or three small groups of 
villagers looked our way, but there was no kind of 
greeting or palpable recognition whatever. Imagine an 
Irishman of equal fame seen in his native place ! 

The scene of the family meeting, at which were 
fourteen small nephews and nieces, was Newlands, a 
farm occupied by one of James's sons. James is also 
tenant of Thomas's Farm, Craigenputtock. ' James 
never knew such bad times for farmers,' C. told me on 
the way back. 

At Lockerbie we again stopt half an hour. C. sat 
in the carriage as before, I leant over the side and 
talked to him. While we talked a biggish man came 
out of the inn, — like a comfortable farmer, and bearing 
a general resemblance to C. as many of the men do here 
— he advanced to the carriage, took off his hat, and 
said in a slow distinct voice without any expression in 
his face or tone, ' 1 request the honour of shaking 
hands with you. Sir ; I understand you're Mr. -Carlyle.' 
C. looked at him, and after some seconds said, ' Who 
are you. Sir } ' — the other, a little taken aback, ' O, I'm 
only a farmer in the neighbourhood — I'm an admirer 
of your writings. Sir, and I wished to shake hands with 
you. I asked permission to shake hands with the 
grandson of our national poet, Robert Burns, at 
Lockerbie Station, and it was granted to me.' C. 
slowly took off his glove and gave him a thin, brown 
hand. ' Ye're lookin' fresh, Mr. Carlyle,' says the 
farmer. ' Fresh,' returns C. — ' I'm very old and very 
weak' — whereon the farmer, taking his hat off again, 
withdrew, while C. muttered, 'I wish you well, Sir.' 
We got back to Moffat about half-past eight — the 
weather having threatened rain, but kept up all 

Sunday^ September 7. — I walked in the morning up 
hill and by field path to Spa, some two miles, and drank 
a glass of the water — pretty glen and rocky brook. 

282 MOFFAT 1879 

In Moffat Street meet C. and Alick coming slowly 
across — rain begins — C. sits on a doorstep — we notice 
name on signboard ' Jannetson,' which C. says he never 
saw elsewhere. Back to inn, where C. comes with me 
into the common parlour and I read to him from the 
guide book an account of the source of Annan, etc. 

In the evening I came into his room. Burns again 
— ' poor fellow — utterly misplaced — the best songster 
ever lived.' 

I said Burns showed no signs of improvement in 
conduct as he grew older. Did his wife make any 
attempts to reform him .? No, C. thought, she tried 
little or nothing that way, thought it no use. 

' I was once brought to see Mrs. Burns in her old 
age — she said little, nor did I, I had unspeakable 
feelings in looking upon her, as though it were one of 
the Greek tragic heroines — Clytemnestra herself! — 
Bonnie Jean !— She was a quiet, grave person, no good 
looks left.' C. spoke of how Burns took his death, 
coming late out of the ' Globe,' drunk, and sitting 
down on a stone (a louping-on-stane probably), which is 
still in the close, on a cold, freezing winter's night. 

Strange that no one looked after him. It was 
doubtless too frequent a case to excite attention. 
I C. said, ' I remember a man in Annandale telling me 
I that he saw Burns lying dead-drunk in the back-yard of 

ithe *' King's Head," and totally unheeded, save by a 
passing look.' 

Old John Tait, the sexton or bedrai, shewed me the 

Mausoleum in St. Michael's churchyard of Dumfries, a 

foolish kind of greenhouse or glass-case enclosing a 

relievo of a clumsy Burns. 

I Burns's body was moved hither from its original 

f resting-place under a simple, and far more expressive, 

j slab. 

Carlyle told me, ' I went up one morning early, 
before the graveyard was open, and climbed over the 
wall ; there were many tombstones of Covenanters to 

i879 MOFFAT 283 

be seen ; searching about in the grass I suddenly came 

upon a flat stone with " Robert Burns " on it and the 
dates : it was the most impressive experience of the i 
kind I have had in my life.' 

Old Sexton Tait told me something of a grandson 
of the Poet, who died in Dumfries a few weeks ago at 
the age of fifty-eight. He drank daily as much whisky 
as he could get by ' sponging,' chiefly at the ' Globe 
Tavern,' on folk who ' treated ' him in memory of the 
National Bard. 

He had in his middle life a recognisable likeness to 
the Poet, and his father was still more like, ' with the 
same black eyes (Carlyle told me) — only the soul 
entirely wanting in them ; they had no depth, — their 
darkness was like that of polished cannel coal.' This 
third Robert, lately dead, ' used to say (the Sexton told 
me) he would like to have his grave here ' — namely, 
under a small tree in a corner of the enclosed ground, 
in front of the mausoleum or glass-case. ' He kennt 
weel he wadna be allowed inside.' 

There are illegitimate Burnses, I believe, still breath- 
ing vital air at Dumfries. Better for his countrymen, for 
mankind, and indeed for his own memory, if much less 
noise had been made about the unlucky one's grave, if 
the stone had been left in the churchyard grass to be 
found by one and another pilgrim, not without tears. 

I quoted to Carlyle Goethe's remark that, to win 
high popular success and fame a man must have, not 
only genius, but opportunity, — Napoleon inherited the 
French Revolution, Burns the old Scottish Songs. C. 
did not appear to know how much Burns owed to the 
old songs, as Mary and I went over some of the 

C. said that while the Poet in his last illness was 
staying at the Brow, some miles from Dumfries, he 
heard one day a farm-labourer speaking of various 
things he was busy upon, and Burns said with a deep 

284 LONDON 1879 

sigh, ' Ah ! those were my happy days ' — meaning, when 
he was thus occupied. To which Carlyle added, 
* Gilbert Burns used often to say that his brother's 
conversation was never afterwards so delightful as when 
they two were working in the field, or digging peat 
together. Robert was full of poetry and enthusiasm.' 

September 8. — To the Grey Mare's Tail. 

September 9. — Home — all well. Ready to start 
to-morrow for Broadstairs. 

October 18. — We returned to town from Broadstairs, 
Oct. 15. I walked with my little son to Cheyne Row, 
and met Mr. Carlyle coming out of the door to his 
carriage ; he shook hands with Sonny, saying, ' Ah, he's 
a bonny lad ! ' C. looks well, and even says ' Things 
might be worse.' 

December 4. — Helen and I to Cheyne Row. Carlyle's 
eighty-fourth birthday. Mrs. Lecky there. Browning 
and Ruskin are gone. C. on his sofa by the window, 
warm and quiet, wearing a new purple and gold cap. 
Gifts of flowers on the table. Birthday — ' O dear.' 
He speaks of Ruskin, who, he says, is in better spirits 
than he was. Asks me what I think of R.'s paper on 
the clergy, in Contemporary Review. I own myself 
puzzled as to his real meanings. C. : ' Oh yes, he 
beheves all that — Can you lend me some book to read } 
— a large book, that I can have satisfaction with.' 

[AUingham notes during the winter : — ] 

H. and I called on George Eliot, North Bank, first 
time since Lewes's death. She seemed well and cheer- 
ful, Herbert Spencer there. He talked of Art — 
' people don't know what to admire — the Old Masters 
— folly ! The R.A. Exhibition better than all the Old 
Masters. The art of painting greatly advanced, etc. 
etc. St. Mark's a barbarous and unpleasing edifice.' 
George Eliot denounced ' the rain, or perpetual drizzle 
of criticism under which we live.' 

George Eliot called. Carlyle portraits : H. 

wished to do hers : G. E. said she would * consider.' 



Wednesday^ March 10. — I meet Carlyle's carriage in 
the street and get in, Mary alights," Alick stays. We 
drive through the Parks, looking green, to Swiss 
Cottage. Carlyle, poor man, lies back crookedly in his 
corner, noticing nothing of the outer world. Yet he 
seems rather better than last time, a dim fire still in his 
eyes, a dusky red in his cheeks. He talks of Erasmus 
Darwin, the elder, with respect — has been reading a life 
of him. ' The Loves of the Triangles is a poor thing. 
The writer (Canning) knew very little about triangles.' 
On politics he remarked, ' This time will be memorable 
as the time when England was governed by a perfect 

March 18. — Mary and Alick came to us in the 
evening — Professor Tyndall and Mrs. T. had called on 
Carlyle, who brightened up. They talked of the Fahr- 
benlehre. C. hoped that Tyndall would get something 
out of all the labour Goethe had given to this subject. 
The Professor said Goethe had many excellent observa- 
tions, but his theory was wrong. 

Tyndall said, aside, to Mary, ' Say what he will 
(of weakness), I never saw him looking grander.' 

Afril 19. — To Carlyle's about 2.30, found him on 
sofa, just awaked : Lecky by him. We got into the 
carriage, and were driven through Hyde Park and 
Regent's Park to Belsize Avenue, his most usual route ; 


286 HASLEMERE isso 

then turned, L. had met Renan and found him very 
agreeable. Renan reads English, but does not speak it. 
C. said, ' I am reading Shakespeare again. I read 
Othello yesterday all through, and it quite distressed 
me. O what a fellow that is — honest lago ! I was once 
at this Play at Drury Lane (it would be in Macready's 
time — but he did not do me any good in it), and when 
Emilia said — 

O the more angel she 
And you the blacker devil I 

a murmur swelled up from the whole audience into a 
passionate burst of approval, the voices of the men 
rising — in your imagination — like a red mountain, with 
the women's voices floating round it like blue vapour, you 
might say. I never heard the like of it.' (I thought 
this a curious remark — the interpretation of sound by 
colour in it.) 

Lecky recalled Macaulay's remark that an Italian 
audience would look on lago as a comic character ; 
adding, ' I have seen the play in Italy and found it was 
as Macaulay said. Tricking husbands is the habitual 
occupation of the Comic Man of the Italian stage.' 

I out in St. John's Wood, and call on George Eliot, 
She was looking well in a high cap and black silk dress. 
I told her of C. and Othello — ' the red mountain and 
blue vapour.' ' Like an imaginative child's description,' 
she said. 

[In the spring of this year the Allinghams went to 
Haslemere, where they remained through the summer. 
Tennyson and his Son were in Italy, and the family 
came to Blackdown later than usual.] 

August 5. — Haslemere — very fine ; Helen and I 
started about 3.30 to walk to Tennyson's, as invited. 
In the shady lane the carriage overtook us, T. had 
kindly called for us. He was in the carriage with his 
little grandson, Alfred, in his nurse's lap, and Mr. 
Fields, an American guest. Little Alfred, aged three, 
had on the great Alfred's black sombrero, and the 

,88o HASLEMERE 287 

child's straw hat with a blue ribbon was stuck on the 
top of the poet's huge head, and so they drove gravely 
along. I followed on foot along the heath-fringed road 
on Blackdown, overlooking the vast expanses of light 
and shadow, golden cornfields, blue distances, from 
Leith Hill to Chanctonbury Ring. Walked through 
the house,^ ^ong hall open at each end, and found tea 
on the further lawn, smooth, shut in with shrubs. 
The view of the lower windows of the house is now 
shut out by the growth of twigs and leaves. A. T. 
in sombrero and gray suit, broad shouldered. He has 
been at Venice, Cadore, etc., with Hallam. 

T. took me to a top room and out on the balcony 
to see * the enormous view.' ' I sometimes see a spire 
out yonder (due east), but I don't know what it is.' 
Horsham I suggest, adding, ' Field Place is near it, 
Shelley's birthplace.' Below, H. sketched Don, the 
handsome old setter, Hallam keeping him quiet. 

T. — ' I gave Irving my Thomas a Becket. He said 
.it was magnificent, but it would cost ^3000 to mount 
it, — he couldn't afford the risk. If well put on the 
stage, it would act for a time, and it would bring me 
credit — but it wouldn't pay. The success of a piece 
doesn't depend on its literary merit or even on its stage 
effect, but on its hitting somehow. Miss Terry said 
" we act mechanically after a long run — but on a first 
night nobody suspects how we have our hearts in our 
mouths ! " ' 

T. did not much approve Irving's Shylock. ' He 
made you pity Shylock too much. I told Miss Terry 
she ought, as advocate, to stand on the steps to 
gain advantage, instead of standing on the level — a 
little female thing — and looking up at him. The 
worst of writing for the stage is you must keep some 
actor always in your mind.' 

Sunday^ August 8. — Helen and I walked up — 

1 Aldworth. This entry, with two earlier ones in 1863, has already 
appeared in Hallam Lord Tennyson's Memoir of his Father. 

288 ALD WORTH isso 

reached the house about 4. Tennyson on the front 
terrace with his two dogs, Don and Grig. He asked 
Helen had she brought her paints to finish Don's 
portrait. ' No — why not ? Sunday ,'' No one with 
wits in their brain would object. It's as allowable as 
lawn-tennis. Boys play cricket now on a Sunday. It's 
High Church to play cricket.' 

Lord Lytton's return from India. T. spoke in his 
favour. I object — the Afghan War, etc. 

T. — ' How can we know the rights and wrongs ? ' 

W. A. — ' An intelligent man has both the means 
and the right to form an opinion on public affairs now- 
a-days. The main particulars are soon published.' 

T. — ' I was arguing with the Duke of Argyll about 
Roumania and Turkey, and said to him. Why don't 
you answer me ? He said, " You haven't read the 
Blue Books." ' 

Matthew Arnold — ' " Something outside of us that 
makes for righteousness " — ugh ! ' (This is a sort of 
grunt of disgust very usual with T.) 

' I was asked by some one in London, " Shall I ask 
M. A. .? " I said I didn't much like dining with 
Gods ! ' 

T. praised in a general way Thyrsis and The Scholar- 

' Thyrsis very artificial,' I thought. 

' So is Lycidas^ he said. 

' But Lycidas came first and was in the spirit of its age.' 

I brought in my hand Ferguson's Poems, the volume 
published in May. T. looked into it but soon put it 
down. He read 'The Widow's Cloak' — 'I don't 
much care for it ; I can't read anything, much less 
poetry. On account of my eyes — yes — the doctor says 
I must only read for half an hour at a time. I shouldn't 
like both eyes to go. Everything now looks as in a 
very dusky twilight.' 

He asked had I read Browning's new volume ^ 
' " Clive " is the best.' 



A letter from Browning this morning, about ' Clive,' 
is produced. He says some reviewers have charged 
him with altering the story of the duel because his 

version is not that in the memoir by ; but there it 

is clumsily done, and Clive's suicide is so slurred over, in 
the same book, that you might take it to have been an 
ordinary death. Browning had his version from Mrs. 
Jameson (while travelling in her company on the 
Continent) — she having just heard it told by Macaulay 
at Lord Lansdowne's table. 

At dinner — the account in a New York paper {^rhe 
Tribune') of Lionel's wedding — 'the Poet Laureate, 
bent figure and tottering gait.' 

' Why, there were five steps to come down, — no one 
had told me of them ; I was looking for them in the 
obscurity, lest I should tumble on my nose.' 

Then T. spoke of satire in general. ' It's quite 
dreadful to think of how satire will endure, no matter 
how unfair, if well written. Look at Pope — 

Now night descending, the proud scene was o'er. 
But liv'd in Settle's numbers one day more. 

The perfection of that brings tears into one's eyes — and 
it pillories Settle for ever ! Everything will be in the 
British Museum — even the newspapers.' 

We agreed on the absurdity of accumulating news- 
papers there, too many books even. But how select } 
— Who is to be empowered to do it 1 

A. — ' Carlyle declares his father was the strongest- 
minded man he knew, yet he would admit no poetry 
into his house.' 

T. — ' He was right.' 

A. — * Nor fiction of any sort.' 

T. — ' There he was wrong. But I suppose he was 
an old Puritan.' 

T. denounced vivisection most fiercely : declared he 
would not owe his own life to a cruel experiment on a 


290 ALDWORTH 1880 

He made Helen taste his wine (Vouvray) from his 
own glass, and took her into the drawing-room. 

' If the pronunciation of the English language were 
forgotten, Browning would be held the greatest of 
modern poets, having treated the greatest variety of 
subjects in a powerful manner.' 

(Calverley called Browning ' a well of English 

Wednesday^ August 11. — About 4 Tennyson calls 
with little Alfred and baby Charley (whom T. calls 
' The Philosopher '). 

' Don died on Sunday night. Hallam heard him 
howling, and thought there might be strangers about.' 

Tea in the garden under apple tree ; T. praises the 
house, likes the steps in the garden, etc. 

' Done by an artist — that accounts for it.' ^ 

Friday^ August 13. — Helen and I with the babes 
to Tennyson's. He sits on chair beside us. Two 

Miss s call (very old family). Tennyson tells us 

afterwards ' A former Lord H , queer old fellow — 

was found on his knees near the kitchen one day riddling 
the cinders — he looked up and said, "Dick never 
riddles 'em right." He kept his two daughters in the 
nursery till they were thirty, and then they climbed 
over the garden wall and ran away. The young ladies 
to-day would have my autograph — ugh ! I said, 
" the glory of your presence has got it. I would never 
have sent it if you had asked by letter." ' 

Fair and dark people — dark people are thinner 

T. — ' I am. A countryman in the North said, " A 
wouldn't be as black as him for summat ! " At Dieppe 
the touter appealed to me as French, Spanish, Italian — 
and at last said in astonishment " Vous etes Anglais I " 
But my brother Frederick, a white and rosy man, got 
much more admiration when we travelled together — he 
was adored by all the landladies and chambermaids.' 

1 Cecil Lawson's cottage at Haslemere. 

i88o ALD WORTH 291 

' The New Forest is the finest thing in England, the 
most peculiar. There are mountains elsewhere, and 
cliffs, and lakes. When Palgrave and 1 came back 
from Spain we went to the New Forest, and as we lay 
under great trees with a green heaven above our heads 
I said, " We saw nothing so fine as this in Spain," and 
he said, " No." ' 

August 20. — Helen and I walk to T.'s. Blackdown 
now purple with ling and heather. Lawn : Mrs. 
Tennyson in invalid chair. 

Mr. Edward Lear coming on Monday — one of 
twenty children — drew birds at fourteen to help his 
family. Improvises on pianoforte. 

A. T. and Hallam — Browning's Dramatic Idylls. 

T.- — ' I wish he hadn't taken my word Idyll. I said 
the other day and you took it as a jest, but I meant it 
seriously, " if the pronunciation of the English language 
were lost. Browning would be considered the greatest 
of modern poets." ' 

W. A. — 'A basis of good sense is often wanting 
In him.' 

T. — ' I don't perceive that.' 

W. A. — ' What do you make of Fifine ? ' 

T. — ' I couldn't make anything of it. I tried it 
several times, and took it in my pocket on a walk — 
that's the best way to try,' 

W. A. — ' " Clive " is simpler. But why was Clive 
afraid once in his life, as he confessed ? ' 

T. — ' Because he had a pistol put to his head.' 

W. A. — ' Not at all. When his friend thought so, 
Clive swore at him furiously. Clive was afraid that his 
antagonist might make him a present of his life — in 
which case there would have been nothing for it but 

Hallam. — '■ No doubt that's it.' 

Sunday, August 22. — Hallam and Lionel Tennyson, 
with Miss Ritchie, call on us after church. Helen and 
I walk up to T.'s. At dinner, talk of Ireland. 

292 ALDWORTH 1880 

The Church of Rome — I speak of its singleness of 
aim but flexibility to circumstances, and variety of 

Miss Ritchie began — 'They embrace so wonder- 
fully ' — when T. cut in : ' Did they ever embrace you ? 
Were you ever kissed by a dozen priests ? ' The 
young lady laughed. 

Miss Ritchie played Beethoven's ' Aurora ' Sonata 
finely. T. came in and listened. 

' I wish I could understand it — I could perceive a 
rushing as of a torrent — and flashes of light.' 

Miss R. — ' I think it's exactly like sunrise — and very 
like your poem too, " Out of the Deep." ' 

Sunday^ August 29. — Hallam calls. Helen and I 
walk up to Aldworth. Find A. T. on seat at end of 
lower terrace, reading a large type New Testament. 
We sit beside him. 

Tennyson shows me a paper by Mr. Crookes (Roy, 
Soc.) on 'Four Kinds of Matter,' Solid, Liquid, 
Gaseous, and another which is imperceptible to the 
senses (sometimes called ' Ether '). Molecules and 

T. said (or something like this) — ' I believe we never 
see Matter : what we count the material world is only 
an appearance.' 

Huxley's question, ' Has a frog a Soul } ' 

W. A. — ' I should first ask, " What do you mean by 
Soul } " But Huxley says questions about " Soul " and 
" the Future " don't interest him.' 

T. — ' Then, surely, that shows defect in him ! 
Tyndall's metaphysics are very shaky, I think. They 
don't see that they are destroying their country. 

' Old Sedgwick told me he visited Laplace in his 
last days and the old Astronomer said to him — " You 
are an Englishman, suff'er me to say to you a word or 
two on politics. Never emancipate the Catholics, and 
never tamper with your glorious constitution." ' 

Tennyson dislikes our quitting Afghanistan — ' the 

i88o ALDWORTH 293 

want of continuity in our policy is the curse of our 
country ; I believe Parliaments will be its ruin. We 
might have ruled the Afghans and made them good 
subjects, like the Sikhs.' 

I said England had no business in Afghanistan. 
Lord Beaconsfield's policy was disapproved by Lord 
Lawrence, Lord Northbrook, and a majority of the 
Council of India. T. stuck to his own views. I told 
him, ' you always declare England to be right, whatever 
she does.' 

T. — ' I think she's often shockingly wrong. In this 
case it's unsafe to draw back.' 

Speaking of the Irish agitator who said, ' I think 
their cattle will not much prosper,' — a speech followed 
by the maiming of many animals, — he exclaimed, ' How 
I hate that man — Ireland's a dreadful country ! I 
heartily wish it was in the middle of the Atlantic' 

' Below the surface ? ' I asked. 

' No, no, a thousand miles away from England. I 
like the Irish — I admit the charm of their manners — but 
they're a fearful nuisance.' 

' Very troublesome,' I admitted, ' but there's some 
truth in the popular Irish notion that nothing can be 
got from England except by agitation.' 

T. is a constant novel reader. ' What I dislike is 
beginning a new novel. I should like to have a novel 
to read in a million volumes, to last me my life.' 

September 2. — Drove up to Tennyson's to dinner. 
H. and I., Aubrey de Vere, Dr. Bradley, Mrs. and Miss 

A. T., Aubrey de Vere and I talk of poetry. 

T. and I agree on the odiousness of various readings 
inserted on a poet's page — and of critical notes. 

De Vere blames Ruskin for his recent remarks on 
Wordsworth, — ' a Westmorland peasant, etc' 

De V. wishes Wordsworth had written his magnum 
opus, of which the Prelude was the beginning. 

T. — ' His small things are the best. Even his 

294 ALDWORTH 1880 

" Tintern Abbey," fine as it is, should have been much 

De V. — ' But if it pleased the artistic sense more, 
might it not appeal less to the sympathies ? ' 

T, — ' A great deal might be left out.' 

W. A. — ' One could turn the largest part of the 
Excursion into prose, very seldom altering a word, 
merely re-arranging. Here and there a line or a 
passage of poetry would be left, like a quotation. It is 
much easier to write bad blank verse than good prose.' 

T. — ' And it is much easier to write rhyme than 
good blank verse. I should not be sorry to lose any- 
thing from a poet which is not beautiful poetry. One 
plods over Wordsworth's long dreary plains of prose — 
one knows there's a mountain somewhere, and now and 
again you come to astonishing things. In old times, 
when copying was costly, Catullus, Horace, and the 
others gave only their best.' 

De V. — ' Wordsworth ought to have done great 
and perfect things, one fancies. He lived a poetic life, 
he devoted himself to poetry, — How was it ^ ' 

W. A. — ' For many years he never read any poetry 
but his own. His mind became monotonous.' 

De V. — ' I believe that is true. And he was con- 
tinually touching and altering, and sometimes injuring 
what he had written.' 

W. A. — ' His experience of real life was neither 
wide nor various. His material ran short.' 

De V. — ' And yet, if he gives us a good deal of 
dulness, might not the same be said of Homer and of 

T. (grunts) — ' No, no ! ' 

De V. — ' Well, I find a great deal of Homer very 
dull — and surely the last six books of Paradise Lost are 
much below the first six .? ' 

T — ' Possibly — but there's the charm of Milton's 
style. He invented his verse — just as much as Virgil 
invented his.' 

i88o ALDWORTH 295 

De V. — ' I read to Wordsworth your 

Of old sat Freedom on the heights, 

and — 

You ask me, why, tho' ill at ease, 

and he said, *' Fine poetry and very stately diction." ' 

T. said ' H'm ! ' contentedly. 

W. A. — ' Coleridge was more essentially a Poet than 

T. — ' I don't know that.' 

De V. — ' I think so. But how melancholy to think 
that all his finest poems were produced in one single 
year of his life. Then he went to Germany and took 
to Metaphysics — such a pity ! ' 

T. — ' But the man I count greater than them all — 
Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, every one of 
'em — is Keats, who died at twenty-five — thousands of 
faults ! (twiddling the fingers of one hand in the air) — 
but he's wonderful ! ' 

De V. — ' He doesn't pall upon you ? ' 

T.— ' No.' 

De V. — ' Shelley used to be a great idol of yours.' 

T. — ' O yes. We lived near the most prosaic village 
in the world, a little beast ! where they had never heard 
of anything. One day we went there to meet my brother 
Frederick, who was coming back from somewhere, 
and as we were driving home he whispered, " I've got a 
poet who's much grander than Byron," and repeated 
one line — 

Waterfalls leap among wild islands green, 

which I thought delicious, 

^ Alastor was the first poem of his I read. I said, 
" This is what I want ! " — and still I like it the best, 
though one can't tell how much these first loves are to 
be trusted. The Revolt of Islam is splendid but gives 
me a headache — it's fatiguing — all mountain tops and 

De V. agreed, and named as his favourites The Ode to 

296 ALDWORTH isso 

the West Wind — Ode to Naples — (of which he recited 
some lines, and another piece). 

Tennyson quoted a passage from Shelley and said 
' what can you do with a man who has such command 
of language ? But Keats was not wild and wilful, he 
had always an intention. At the same time he was 
daimonisch^ — he had a touch (he was a livery-stable 
keeper's son — I don't know where he got it from, unless 
from Heaven). 

Perhaps the self-same song that found a path 
Through the sad heart of Ruth when, sick for home, 
She stood in tears amid the alien corn ; 
The same that oft-times hath 
Charm'd magic casements opening on the foam 
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn. 

' What can be lovelier ^ (He said the last two 
lines again.) I once saw it printed " In fairyland 
forlorn," which totally ruined it — one doesn't know 

W. A. — ' " Fairyland " has been much used.' 

When I shook hands with him he said, ' Good-night, 
Statuette ! ' I laughed and said, ' I know what you 
mean.' (A little poem in my Songs, Ballads and Stories, 
a volume Hallam borrowed of me yesterday and which 
T. had not seen before.) 

T. — ' It's modest — and it may be quite true. No 
one can in the least tell who will survive.' 

We went out to the porch, T., Hallam, De Vere, 
Helen and I, with lantern — brilliant starry night. 

T. — ' Millions upon millions of suns.' 

W. A. — ' And Whewell argues that the earth is 
probably the only seat of conscious life. Suppose one 
looking from a distance at the Earth, a dot among other 

T. — ' That's just what I said at the time.' 

We parted, and H. and I followed our lantern-gleam 
on the heath and down the shady lane to Haslemere. 

September 19. — Rain — clears. H. and I walk to 

i88o ALDWORTH 297 

Aldworth — glorious prospects, breadth of sunshine and 
shadow — green woodlands, bounding hills, blue distances 
— sweet cool air. Mrs. Tennyson very friendly. 

T. — ' A lady the other day here — a very nice woman 
(I don't altogether like the word, but I want it), was 
praising a friend of yours. " Nice " is objectionable, but 
it is useful — a '* nice " person is one that you're satisfied 

W. A. — ' It used to mean fastidious, — discriminative, 
but there's not much harm in its being turned about 
and applied to the object.' 

T. — ' No : it's something or somebody that satisfies 
your niceness.' 

Hallam takes H. and me down hill and shows us 
old house which belonged to Denzil Holies. 

Dinner, pleasant and lively talk. 

T. — 'A Russian noble, who spoke English well, 
said one morning to an English guest, *' I've shot two 
peasants this morning." — " Pardon me, you mean 
pheasants." *' No, indeed, two men — they were in- 
solent and I shot them." ' 

W. A. — ' In Ireland it's the other way.' 

T. — ' Couldn't they blow up that horrible island with 
dynamite and carry it off in pieces — a long way off ? ' 

W. A. — ' Why did the English go there ? ' 

T. — ' Why did the Normans come to England .'' 
The Normans came over here and seized the country, 
and in a hundred years the English had forgotten all 
about it, and they were all living together on good 

(I demurred : T. went on, raising his voice). — ' The 
same Normans went to Ireland, and the Irish with 
their damned unreasonableness are raging and foaming 
to this hour ! ' 

W. A. — ' The Norman Duke had a claim on the 
crown of England.' 

T. — ' No rightful claim,' 

W. A. — ' But suppose all these to be bygones. You 

298 ALD WORTH 1880 

speak of a century, a short time in history — think what 
Ireland had to complain of only in the last century — 
the penal laws, and the deliberate destruction of their 
growing industry by the English Government : what do 
you say to that ? ' 

T. — ' That was brutal ! Our ancestors were horrible 
brutes ! And the Kelts are very charming and sweet 
and poetic. I love their Ossians and their Finns and 
so forth — but they are most damnably unreasonable ! ' 

W. A. — ' They are most unfortunate.' 

Hallam. — ' What would you do .-* ' 

W. A. — ' This last phase of discontent is perhaps 
the worst — flavoured with Americanism and general 
irreverence ; but what I would have done long ago I 
would try still — encourage peasant proprietorship to 
the utmost possible.' 

Hallam. — ' Get rid of all the landlords and give the 
land to the people } ' 

W. A. — ' Not at all. There are many good Irish 
landlords, and they usually get on well with their tenants. 
The peasant proprietors would have to be made grad- 
ually, and on business principles.' 

T. — ' What is the difference between an English 
landlord and an Irish landlord .'' ' 

W. A. — ' Is it a conundrum ? ' 

T.— ' Not at all.' 

(I tried to explain some great differences. T. came 
back to his old point.) 

T. — ' The Kelts are so utterly unreasonable ! The 
stupid clumsy Englishman — knock him down, kick him 
under the tail, kick him under the chin, do anything 
to him, he gets on his legs again and goes on ; the Kelt 
rages and shrieks and tears everything to pieces ! ' 

Tennyson spoke of the ' sea of silver mist ' seen at 
early morning from his windows at this season — also of 
the effect of mist spread over the wide green woodland 
and the sun shining on it — ' incredible ! Turner would 
have tried it.' 

1880 ALDWORTH 299 

Mrs. T. thought it a great pity that the French 
Government was interfering with the ReHgious Orders — 
even those that nursed the sick. I said they were deal- 
ing with the Church of Rome as a great political power, 
known to be adverse to the Republic. 

T. spoke of Venice. ' We stayed too short a time 
— the Giant's Stairs are very fine. Milan Cathedral 
struck me far more than St. Mark's.' 

I quoted — 

A mount of marble ! a hundred spires ! 

T. — ' Well, that's what it seemed like. Plenty to 
object to, no doubt — but the great coloured windows 
are wonderful. Putting together the little I have seen 
of Italy, this time and the first time, I think the great 
charm is the number of old cities, so various, each with 
a character of its own.' 

We talked of London. T. has a vague notion 
that he would like to live there. ' Chelsea Embank- 
ment is a charming place — I could live there all the 
year.' Hallam (^sotto voce). — ' He always gets tired of 
London in a fortnight.' 

I referred to Emerson's essay (in Society and Solitude)., 
that the feeling of Age is often less in ourselves than in 
our consciousness of being looked upon as old by others. 

T. (partly agreeing). — ' Yes ; I feel younger in some 
ways than when I was fifty.' 

In talking of London, we spoke of old nooks and 
corners, old taverns, ' Bertolini's,' off Leicester Square, 
now shut up ; old Mr. Seymour — who dined there 
fifty years, etc. ; * The Cock' — 'Dick's.' 

T. — * I had a room at " Dick's " once — I often dined 
at " The Rainbow." ' 

He has, amid his ruralism, longings now and again 
for the humours of London streets ; but alas he cannot 
easily go about without provoking notice. An Irish 
flower girl said to T. in Regent St., ' Ah, sure now, 
Misther Tinnison, ye'll buy this little nosegay ! ' 

300 ALDWORTH 1880 

September 23. — H. and I walked up to Aldworth to 

Dr. Johnson. — T. : ' I don't think I should have 
liked his company, but I like Boswell's book.' 

Byron. — T. : ' When a boy I used to worship him. 
But I do think Byron great. His Vision of Judgment 
is the most wonderful thing in the world.' Then T. 
quoted from Don Juan — 

Then rose from sea to sky the wild farewell, etc. 

I said ' The Shipwreck ' as a whole was not good. 
T. — ' The famous lines about the sea in Childe Harold 
are abominably bad.' 

We examined them. I suggested — 

Thy waters washed them while they were free — 

as possible, but T. truly thought ' washed ' was not like 
Byron ; he was more likely to write ' wasted,' sense or 
no sense. 

Ruskin's criticisms on Byron in the Nineteenth 
Century. ' After reading them I read " The Island " 
through the other night.' 

' Well, did you find much in it } ' 


* And what Ruskin calls the finest line ever written 
by an Englishman about the sea — 

the swell 

Of Ocean's Alpine azure rose and fell.' 

T. — ' The open vowels are good. I don't know 
what is meant by " Alpine azure." And certainly that 
about the rivulet falling from the cliff being like a 
goat's eye is very bad.' 

W. A. — ' What did you think of Ruskin's article 
altogether } ' 

T. — 'I thought his remarks on the passage in 
Shakespeare very good — on the fitness of the placing 
of words.' 

Tennyson drives into Haslemere ; he sits in our 

i88o HASLEMERE 301 

garden ^ and looks at newspaper — admires the up-hill 
garden and fir trees : 'it is like one at Florence, The 
south of England is like Italy. When I came back 
this summer and looked from the terrace at Black- 
down, I thought it was exactly like Italy.' 

[In the evening at Aldworth.] T. read us the 
' Bugle Song.' I said ' That's Killarney.' 

T. — ' Yes, it was Killarney suggested it. The bugle 
echoes were wonderful — nine times — at last like a chant 
of angels in the sky. But when I was there afterwards 
I could only hear two echoes, — from the state of the 
air. I complained of this and said, "when I was here 
before I heard nine." " Oh ! " says the bugler, *' then 
you're the gintleman that's brought so much money 
to the place!"' (The 'Bugle Song' increased the 
number of tourists to Killarney.) 

He said an Irish lady asked him how he liked the 
scenery — ' Too much bog,' he thought, ' black and 
dismal.' ' O then, where,' she retorted in tones of 
indignation — ' where would you have the poor people 
cut their turf ^ ' 

Afterwards Tennyson read to us from his new un- 
published volume, 'The Cobbler with his gin bottle,' 
* The Entail ; or. The Village Wife ' — ' one of those 
gossiping beasts ! ' he said. 

Wednesday^ October 13. — Tennyson and I drive in 
his carriage up Hindhead as far as the Huts, to look for 
gypsies, but find none. 

T. — ' Old Hallam used to say the longer one lived 
the higher one rated Dryden as a poet.' 

W. A. — ' I should say that to rate Dryden very high 
is proof of a non-poetic mind.' 

Helen, at his wish, made a sketch of the landscape as 
seen through one of the arches of the porch. T., 
looking over her, said : ' I suppose I owe vou _^20 for 
this ^ ' H. said the payment would be to give her a 
sitting or two, and he gave in rather grumblingly ; 

1 The Allinghams were now in a house under Court's Hill, Haslemere. 

302 ALDWORTH 1880 

hitherto he had refused, and said one day, ' I'll go out 
of the room if you look at me ! ' 

H. had two or three short sittings in his study, with 
fading light, and made a couple of beginnings. He 
promised to sit again when we next met, I talked to 
him while he sat, and tried to keep him from looking 
unhappy. He gave Helen a copy of the collected 
edition of his brother Charles's Sonnets, about to be 
published, and one day read several of them to her with 
great feeling and warm praise. He read the Sonnet I 
said had impressed me a year ago. T. said : ' I know 
the place, the road, everything.' 

He spoke of the objection that the Sonnets were not 
in perfect sonnet form, and said, ' I never care to read 
a perfect sonnet. I look down the rhymes and that's 
enough. I thought the other day of writing a sonnet 
beginning — 

I hate the perfect Sonnet ! 

After going on for four lines I should say 

And now there's " down" and "crown " and "frown" and "brown" : 
I'll take the latter. Then there's "cheer" and "fear" — 
And several others, — 

and so forth, would it be worth doing ? ' 

T. often speaks of the absolute need of delicacy of 
elocution to give the true beauty of poetry. 

T. — ' Rogers used to quote with approval the praise 
of good verse by some Frenchman who declared it to 
be beau comme prose, that is, as easy and natural.' 

T. — ' I'm sQ.vQnty -nine (this was a joke), but I don't 
feel the weight of age on my shoulders. I can run 
up-hill ; I can waltz — but when I said this to Fanny 
Kemble she replied in a ghastly voice, " I hope I shall 
never see you do it ! " ' 

He read us very powerfully the poem of the mother 
and the gibbet. I objected to the title of ' Rizpah ' 
(in private life he called it 'Bones'), and also to an 
explanatory note (now omitted) prefixed to the piece. 

i88o HASLEMERE 303 

The lady who gave him the story called it ' The Modern 
Rizpah.' She gave it as true, the scene near Bright- 
helmstown, but dates and other particulars vague. 

Tennyson said : ' I used to write long letters — 
beautiful letters. I used to write to Sir Vere de Vere, 
who's now dead. I once wrote to him (I forget the 
sentence, which was imaginative in its turn), and in his 
reply he said, " My dear fellow, what rubbish you do 
write to me ! " ' 

October 11. — Haslemere. Our last visit (this time) 
to Aldworth. Snow on the ground. We all drive up. 

The Wordsworth Society. — T. entirely objects to it. 
* They'll give one a disgust for Wordsworth. Why 
can't people be quiet } Ugh ! 

' Reading magazines breaks one's mind all to bits. 
One ought to leave off newspapers. 

' A servant woman that left us told somebody in her 
next place: "She is an angel., but he — why he's only a 
public writer." ' (T. often says English people have 
no respect for poets.) 

Looking at the chimney-piece, T. said : ' When I 
began to read Italian, I wrote down every word that 
puzzled me on the sides and front of the chimney- 
piece where I lodged — painted white — and made a kind 
of dictionary for myself. 1 went away for two or three 
days and when I came back it was all washed off. 
" Thought it was dirt," the woman said. 

' Worse than that — when I was twenty-two I wrote 
a beautiful poem on Poland, hundreds of lines long, 
and the housemaid lit the fire with it. I never could 
recover it.' 

Tennyson repeated some lines of his own from an old 
idyll never published, they were something like this — 

The rich wed richer, and the poor the poor, 
The mount of gold accumulating still, 
The gulf of want enlarging, deepening, till 
The one into the other sink at last 
With all confusion. 

304 ALDWORTH 1880 

' That's not quite the thing — " all confusion." Oh, 
I've written thousands of lines that went up the 

After dinner Tennyson called on Hallam to sing 
' John Brown,' which he accordingly began in a strong 
bass voice, T. joining in (the first time I ever heard 
him try any musical performance), and sometimes 
thumping with his fists on the table — 

John Brown's body lies mouldering in the grave. 
But his soul is marching on ! 

He urged Hallam to go on, saying, ' I like it, I like it,' 
but Hallam thought the noise too great, and drew oiF. 
The soul marching on delighted Tennyson. 

In the evening he read us in the drawing-room 
' The Voyage of Maildun ' (from Joyce's Old Celtic 

T. — ' At first I made half the men kill the other 
half in every fray, and Maildun himself return 

I said the Irish were fond of extravagant stories, 
somewhat in the manner of Rabelais, and told him of 
another, where the hero travelled by land. We talked 
of subjects for poems, and T. said ' I want something 
quite mad.' 

After eleven we went home in T.'s carriage, happy 
with the good company and friendly kindness. 

[While at Haslemere the Allinghams had heard with 
great sorrow of the death of ' the kindest of friends,' 
Mr. Tom Taylor. They had always been made welcome 
at his delightful house, meeting there noted and interest- 
ing people, Sir Henry Irving, Miss Ellen Terry, and 
many others. It is not, however, so much as host and 
hostess — gifted and hospitable though they were — that 
Mr. and Mrs. Tom Taylor will be remembered — but 
as the truest and most sympathetic of friends, with the 
overflowing kindness that springs from warm hearts 
united in family affection.] 

i88o LONDON 305 

October 24. — Chelsea. Yesterday, returned to town. 
Carlyle's about five o'clock — feebler in look and voice. 
I told him of Haslemere — Tennyson. 

Wednesday^ October 27. — Took Mary home from 
our house about 11 p.m., and found Carlyle in his 
drawing-room reading a new edition of Burns. He 
often reads in it (Mary said), notes and all, without his 
spectacles. He again said he found Burns ' the greatest 
since Shakespeare.' We talked of Campbell. 

C. praised Campbell's ' Lochiel,' ' The Mariners of 
England,' etc., and presently began to repeat ' The 
Battle of the Baltic,' giving four or five verses. 

' I was greatly taken with these as a lad, and repeated 
some of them to my Father, who usually cared nothing 
at all for such things.' 

' Was he impressed } ' I asked. 

C. — ' O yes ' (repeating) — 

. . . when each gun 
From its adamantine lips 

(he thought he had never heard so grand an expression 
as that) 

Spread a death-shade round the ships, 
Like a hurricane eclipse 
Of the sun ! 

Then we spoke of Nelson. 

C. — ' Never was any one so sagacious in divining his 
enemy's plans and whereabouts. I well remember hear- 
ing of Nelson's death.' (C. was in his tenth year.) 

* A neighbour woman was in one evening talking 
with my mother about the War and the Fleet, and what 
great things were supposed to be at hand ; the next 
day she came in and said all their speculations had been 
vain, a tremendous battle had already been fought, the 
French and Spanish Fleets were smashed to pieces, and 
— Nelson was killed. I could not understand all, but 
I recollect I had much more grief for his death than 
joy for the victory.' 


3o6 LONDON 1880 

October 29. — H. and I to Hammersmith, Stephens's. 
Holly's birthday. W, Rossetti and wife, Jenny and 
May Morris. Talk with W. M. R. — Shelley, Browning, 
etc. Home : stars (I think of Ballyshannon and the 
sound of the Atlantic). 

Saturday^ December 4. — Helen and I call on Carlyle. 
His eighty-fifth birthday. 

C. seems better and easier ; more himself. He asks 
what I am doing. 

December 19. — H. and I to visit Sir Theodore and 
Lady Martin. (Burton just going out — ' Fergusons 
well.') Talk — theatricals — Warner — the Batemans — 
' no poetic actress now.' I suggest Modjeska, who 
throws sweetness into everything — friendly. 

December 23. — Death of George Eliot. Alas ! that 
little visit at Witley was the last. Her affectionate 
demeanour then we shall remember.^ 

Friday, December 24. — To Carlyle's at 2. He was 
lying on the sofa in the drawing-room. When I spoke 
to him he held out his hand and shook hands with me, 
but said nothing. I was not sure that he knew me. 
A stout Scotch servant girl and I lifted him to his 
feet to go to the carriage. In the hall his heavy seal- 
skin coat was put on with difficulty, and he was got 
into the carriage, Alick and I with him. We drove 
twice round Hyde Park. The old man dozed much. 

[From this time forth Carlyle grev/ steadily weaker. 
Mrs. Alexander Carlyle, whose wise and tender care 
of him had been unceasing for the past thirteen years, 
was now joined by her Husband in her devoted attend- 
ance on her Uncle. 

This may perhaps be a fitting place to say some- 
thing about Allingham's own literary work during the 
period — now drawing to a close — of his life in London. 

Besides the routine of editing, he contributed, from 

1 The Allinghams had called on George Eliot, then Mrs. Cross, at the 
Heights, shortly before they returned from Haslemere. 

III' in n in, 

am,^ '^JaJJt^ ^/t.cTc 

'T.I I ma/iani 
>/oiir p<n~trai t 

i88o LONDON 307 

time to time, an article to the magazine — ' Seven 
Hundred Years Ago ' (chapters on early Irish history, 
much and often commended by Carlyle), ' Modern 
Prophets,' ' Painter and Critic,' etc. — and, frequently, 
a column of critical and other notes and remarks, under 
the general title of ' Ivy Leaves.' 

In 1877 he brought out (with Messrs. George Bell 
and Sons) a collection of his poems — Songs, Ballads, 
and Stories. 

He had other work in preparation — An Evil May 
Day, a poem embodying his views on religion, in relation 
to dogma and science — and Ashby Manor, an historical 
play, to which Allingham gives a note at the end of his 
volume. Thought and Word. He sent a copy of this 
play to several London managers, one of whom entered 
into a correspondence with him and ' highly praised the 
play.' Some months after this manager produced a 
' kind of clumsy parody of Ashhy Manor — with sense- 
less melodramatic additions and an entirely irrelevant 
fifth act.' On this being pointed out to him he asserted 
that he ' scarcely recollected anything about Ashhy Manor. ^ 
Later, an almost similar fate befell another little play of 
Allingham's, Hopgood and Co} 

During these years pleasant intercourse was kept 
up — though the meetings were not always mentioned 
in detail in the diary — with Allingham's old friends of 
the earlier time — with the Burne-Joneses and Morrises — 
the Holman Hunts, Arthur Hugheses, F. G. Stephenses, 
Moncure Conways, and especially with Madame Bodi- 
chon. Sir Percy and Lady Shelley had built a house 
on the Chelsea Embankment, and friendly meetings 
are noted with them and with the De Morgans, G. P. 
Boyces, W. Bell Scotts, Mr. and Mrs. Christison, and 
many other near neighbours.] 

1 Allingham had always taken a great interest in the drama : although 
not a constant theatre-goer, he rarely missed seeing a notable actor or 



January 17. — Helen visited Mary C. to-day. Carlyle 
keeps his bed yesterday and to-day. He lies now on a 
water-bed, which is placed in the drawing-room (first- 
floor front looking on Cheyne Row). The Scotch maid 
stays in the room all night. Mary said she looked at his 
clothes, and thought he might never put them on again. 

After taking finally to his bed the venerable man 
spoke hardly at all ; there was no physical obstruction 
of the organs of speech, but almost total absence of 
will or wish to say anything. Sometimes when Mary 
was doing something for him he would say, in a low 
tone, ' Ah, poor little woman.' He was heard to say 
* Poor little Tommy' — thinking of his grand-nephew of 
a few months old. Once, he supposed the female hands 
that tended him, lifting his head perhaps, to be those 
of his good old Mother — ' Ah, Mother, is it you } ' he 
murmured, or some such words, I think it was on the 
day before the last day that Mary heard him saying to 
himself, ' S9 this is Death : well — ' 

The ' well ! ' pronounced as if meaning, ' So be it ! 
we shall see what it is like.' 

After this nothing was heard from him, except his 
nephew's name, ' Alick,' once or twice. 

During these melancholy days of the end of January 
and beginning of February 188 1, Helen and I were in 
the habit of going down in the evenings to inquire at 




Cheyne Row, usually seeing Mary, who was becoming 
terribly tired, yet could scarcely be persuaded to have 
help in her and her husband's long and sad night 
watchings. ' To-morrow night, we shall see,' — was the 
usual answer ; ' to-night, we can manage.' 

One of the nights our nurse Elizabeth Haddon stayed 
at Cheyne Row, going in sometimes to the sick-room. 

The newspaper reporters or penny-a-liners used to 
ring at the street-door nearly all through the night, but 
at last bulletins pinned up abated the nuisance. 

On the evening of Friday, February 4, Helen and 
I went to Cheyne Row about half-past ten — Mary and 
Alick. Helen much wished to stay all night and help 
in the watching, but I could not agree to this, as she 
was not well herself. 

Next morning (Saturday, February 5), a note from 
Mary — all was over. 

He had lain motionless and, to all appearance, 
unconscious for hours, and quietly ceased to breathe 
about half-past eight this morning, Mary with him. 

I went down about half-past eleven. Went into the 
room for a short time. Sad ! sad ! — not wretched ; the 
sadness of Humanity. 

I looked upon the honoured face, thin, with hoary 
hair and beard ; the face of a weary Pilgrim, at the 
end of a long journey, arrived and at rest. The large 
beautiful eyelids were closed for ever on a pair of eyes 
that, whether for carrying messages inwards or outwards, 
had scarce met their equals on earth or left such behind. 

Helen made two pencil sketches. As we sat in the 
parlour the street-door bell rang, and a ' Messenger 
from the Queen ' was said to be in the passage ; I 
went out at Mary's request, and found a Scotchman 
of middle age, who said he was ' sent by the Queen to 
inquire after Mr. Carlyle ' ; I told him of the death, 
asked him no questions. He may have been John Brown. 

A walk as in a dream. How strange all the moving 
crowds, all the busy trivialities going on ! No change 

310 LONDON 1881 

felt on earth or in air. I thought, looking at this 
stranger and that, * If I said to you " Carlyle is dead," 
would you care ? ' 

February 6. — H. and I at Cheyne Row with Mary 
and Alick. The Funeral to be entirely private. 

March 20. — H. and I to Mrs. Procter's. Lift — 
Mrs. and Miss P., Browning, Mr. Theodore Watts. 
B. said, ' I never minded what Carlyle said of things 
outside his own little circle (drawing a circle in the air 
with his forefinger) — what was it to me what he thought 
of Poetry or Music } One day I was talking of Keats, 
and Carlyle's opinion of him, to Mrs. Carlyle ; she 
asked me to lend her something of Keats's, and I brought 
her Isabella and The Eve of St. Agnes (I was too knowing 
to try her with Endymion). She wrote me a letter — 
" Almost any young gentleman with a sweet tooth might 
be expected to write such things. Isabella might have 
been written by a seamstress who had eaten something 
too rich for supper and slept upon her back." Do you 
think (B. said) I cared about this more than for the 
barking of a little dog ^ 

' I went with Odo Russell to see Carlyle. C. said, 
*'You are British Minister at Rome.^ You ought to 
say to the Pope, ' you Infallible Chimera ! We cannot 
for a moment listen to you, etc. etc' " Odo heard with 
diplomatic calmness. When we went out he said to me, 
" What nonsense he did talk." ' (But C. knew well 
enough what diplomatic formality requires.) 

Watts. — ' I never saw Mr. Carlyle.' 

Browning. — ' Then you could not know him. His 
personality was most attaching. I shall never get 
over it. 

' He first made my acquaintance, not I his. I first 
saw him at Leigh Hunt's, and very properly sat silent 
for my part all the time. When he lectured, I sub- 
scribed and went, and coming out one day he spoke to 
me, " How do you do, Mr. Browning } " I said I had 

i88i WITLEY 311 

hardly thought he could recollect me. " O yes, I recol- 
lect you very well — will you come and see me ? I live 
down in Chelsea." 

' I did call, and he told me afterwards that he had on 
that occasion conceived an unfavourable opinion of me, 
because I wore (what was usual then) a green riding- 
coat of cut-away shape. If he had seen me no more 
I might have figured in his diary as a kind of sporting- 
man in aspect. He was always thoroughly kind to me.' 

Browning came down in the lift with us, and we 
walked together as far as the corner of Buckingham 
Palace. He dined at Tennyson's last night. ' T. in 
great force. He said, '' this pair of dress boots is forty 
years old." We all looked at them, and I said it was 
good evidence of the immortality of the sole.' 

Browning also said Carlyle had written him the 
most beautiful letter possible — 'among other things 
counselling me to give up verse-writing. I have my 
own character written by Carlyle, — my wife copied it, 
and it's in her handwriting.' "" "^ 

March 21. — To Cheyne Row — upstairs, into all 
the rooms. Everything in place, quiet, unchanged — 
with one exception ! — grave, pathetic, venerable. 

[In June of this year, 1881, the Allinghams moved 
to Sandhills, Witley, in Surrey. 

AUingham writes of Sandhills — ' the slope of heather 
and gorse, topped with fir-trees, looks far and wide 
over the Weald of Surrey and Sussex, Hind-Head, a 
mountain-like hill, closing the view on the right hand, 
Blackdown in front ; then, as the eye travels eastward, 
come the rising grounds near Midhurst and Petworth, 
Chanctonbury Ring, with its tuft of trees, called locally 
*' The Squire's Hunting-Cap," and on a clear day the 
downs near Brighton and Lewes.' 

Here the life was quiet and tranquil, and AUingham 
had leisure for his own writing and reading. 

During July the notes in the diary are of ' days hot 
and bright ' — of ' lilies and roses ' — ' buying garden 

312 WITLEY 1881 

tools ' — ' of walks up the common, in shady lanes.' ' To 
Chiddingfold, Village Green, old cottages, hay-field, 
evening sun, little church spire — long shadows on the 
grass — peaceful, pathetic.'] 

July 14. — Meet Mary Carlyle and Tommy — Tommy 

July 23. — Dine at Birket Foster's — Keene's sketches, 

August 21. — Sandhills. H. and I to Blackdown 
— Foxholes. H. draws. Tennyson and I sit with 

Beauty and picturesqueness — T. says, ' take a trim, 
snug, unbeautiful house, half ruin it, and you make it 
picturesque ; same as to ragged clothes, etc' I argue 
that neglect alone will not make a thing picturesque, 
there must be beauty in it. For a thing to be absolutely 
' beautiful ' it must have regularity. The beauty in a 
picturesque neglected object comes from nature regain- 
ing her sway over it. T. would not be drawn out of 
the commonplaces of the subject. 

T. — ' I said to Tyndall, " You can but scratch the 
surface of things. You are like a swallow that dips on 
the water." He seemed to agree to this.' 

T. sitting on the faggot complained of the ' bees ' 
(flies) being ' as fell as ought.' I said I would break him 
a bit of oak, not esh^ and I did so. He said, ' There 
was a real farmer in our parts — in Lincolnshire — that 
used to say he heard his horse's hooves saying "Propetty ! 
Propetty ! Propetty ! " His name was Thimbleby. 
His wife, when she came into a room, would slap her 
pockets and say, " The day I married Thimbleby I 
brought him _^5000 on each shoulder ! " ' 

August 30. — To York [The British Association]. 

September 3. — Fryston. Breakfast 8.30. Lord 
Houghton reads out part of letter from Carlyle to his 
wife, written here at Fryston (for which he paid 
_^io : I OS.). It begins, 'My dear Bairn,' describes the 
Milnes family and life at Fryston. R. M. M.'s sister 

i88i WITLEY 313 

' about Richard's height, a fair height for a gown.' 
Roebuck dined here, ' flew at me over and over again 
like a cockatrice, and was duly flung off, more to the 
satisfaction of the company than of me,' 

Odd to think of this letter coming back here. 

Ld, Houghton said, 'when I brought Carlyle here, 
we came into this room (the hall). My father, who 
was a most courteous man, expressed his great pleasure 
at seeing him, and how much he was obliged to me for 
bringing him : then, showing his cigar, said, " I hope, Mr. 
Carlyle, you don't object to this occupation." C. replied 
with emphasis, " I think sir it is a very natural occupa- 
tion, and I should like to join in it as soon as possible ! " ' 

Sunday J October 16. — Sandhills. Very fine — cold 
— Carlyle memoranda. I and the children walk to 
fir-wood. Buss's Corner, children and nurse return up 
path. I sit on log and call out good-byes. In passing 
I call and ask Charles Lewes if he will walk ? He has 
a cold. He lends me my own Songs, Ballads, etc., the 
copy I gave to George Eliot in May 1877. 

As I sit on the tree trunk at Buss's Corner I take 
out the book and turn its leaves. Up this very path, 
on the edge of which I am sitting, George Eliot, G. H. 
Lewes and myself walked one fine autumnal afternoon, 
September 25, 1878. I had come over from Shere, 
where we had a cottage for the season ; called, stayed 
for luncheon ; and they both, when I started to walk 
home, came with me down their garden, into the little 
lane, across the railway line, to this corner where I 
sit, over Hambledon Hill, and up the hollow road ; 
at the end of which we parted, talking at the last 
moment of Carlyle. Sitting on the log and looking 
up the path eastwards, I recollect distinctly that just 
here we talked of death, and George Eliot said, ' I used 
to try to imagine myself dying — how I should feel 
when dying, but of course I could not.' 

I said that when a child I firmly believed I should 
in some way escape dying. 

314 WITLEY 1881 

George Eliot. — ' You cannot think, of yourself as 

G. H. Lewes was deeply silent at all this. I sus- 
pected him at the time of thinking the topic frivolous and 
uninteresting, but now I think he perhaps avoided it as 
painful. Charles Lewes has told Helen that his father 
could not bear to think of George Eliot's dying first. 
That September walk was my last sight of Lewes. 
Both are gone. And here I sit turning over my own 
book and looking at her pencil markings. 

She wrote me a letter, which I have, on receiving 
this book. I put it in my pocket and walk on. 

Neglected my diary till end of year. Weather 
mostly very mild — Periwinkle flowers in garden — 
found two primroses in fields. Tennyson and Hallam 
called. Sonny showed T. his garden. 

At Blackdown. Talk — Browning. 

I praised the Russian Scenery of' Ivan Ivanovitch' in 
the new volume, remarking that the story was in 
substance an old one (a version of it appeared, I think, 
in a miscellany called The Mirror). 

T. said, * I think the woman was right. The 
wolves would have eaten them all. She might have 
saved part by what she did.' 

T. told me that he had planned out his Arthuriad, 
and could have written it all off without any trouble. 
But in 1842 he published, with other poems, the ' Morte 
d'Arthur,' which was one book of his Epic (though not 
really the eleventh), and the review in the Quarterly 
disheartened him, so that he put the scheme aside. 
He afterwards took it up again, but not as with the 
first inspiration. This unlucky article in the Quarterly 
was written by John Sterling, who was then thirty-six 
years old, just three years older than Tennyson. It 
may be interesting now to read what it said of the 
' Morte d'Arthur ' : ' The first poem in the second 
volume seems to us less costly jewel-work, with fewer 
of the broad flashes of passionate imagery, than some 

1882 WITLEY 315 

others, and not compensating for this inferiority by 
any stronger human interest. The miraculous legend 
of Excalibur does not come very near to us, and as 
reproduced by any modern writer must be a mere 
ingenious exercise of fancy. The poem, however, is 
full of distinct and striking description, perfectly 
expressed, and a tone of mild dignified sweetness 
attracts, though it hardly avails to enchant us.' 

This, it will be observed, chimes in with the doubts 
expressed by the Poet himself in the lines written by 
way of prologue. Blame or doubt in regard to his 
own writings always weighed more with Tennyson than 
praise. He often said that he forgot praise and 
remembered all censure. 

Sterling's review, meant to be friendly, was a thin 
pretentious piece and of no value whatever : a pity it 
should have chanced to prove so mis-effectual ! 


January i . — Sandhills. Last night at a few minutes 
before 12 o'clock we, that is Helen and I, with Elizabeth, 
Annie, and Sophie, went into the garden ; the sky clear 
and starry, with moonlight, weather mild, and heard 
the bells of Chiddingfold, some two miles off, ringing 
out the Old Year — five bells they sounded like, sweet 
and soft. The chime stopped and we shook hands 
and wished each other a * Happy New Year ' — then it 
began again, and also a distant band. The dear 
children are fast asleep — a toy waiting beside each bed. 

January 13. — H. and I to Blackdown. 

A. T. in study. H. tries to sketch him, but he 
wont. * You're staring at me — I can't bear it ! He's 
keeping me in talk, it's a plot ! I hate it ! My 
back bone is weak ! You mustn't, Mrs. A.' 

Autograph hunters — some one applied repeatedly — 
he sent ' Ask me no more. — A. Tennyson.' 

Tuesday^ February 28. — Lord Houghton struck 
with paralysis at Athens — gone, I fear. 

3i6 WITLEY 1882 

March 4. — Visit Hook, R.A. — friendly and jocular. 

[Miss De Morgan came down one day to look for 
lodgings — to Tobitt's Farm.] 

' Mrs. Tobitt has let her rooms.' 

' To an artist 1 ' asks Mary. 

' O no, M'", quite a genileman.'' 

[In the local directory Mr. Birket Foster was 
entered as ' Tradesman.'] 

Thursday, April 20. — Splendid day. Sat in Study 
with open window and wrote for P.M.G. ' Foot-paths.' 

To-night hear nightingale for first time. 

Newspapers — Death of Darwin. 

May Day. — Overcast. A few cottage children 
came in carrying sticks with flowers tied to them — 
neither sung nor spoke, but stood shyly holding their 
flower sticks ; got 6d. and went away. A curiously 
silent folk, the English peasants. Sonny and Evey 
get flower sticks next day. 

Abundance of wild flowers, nightingales and cuckoos 
heard all night. 

May 8. — Murder of Lord F. Cavendish and Mr. 
Burke in the Phoenix Park. O wretched country ! 

Tuesday, May 9.^ — Storm of wind, trees blown 
down. Hear of serious illness, then of the death of 
Emerson — eighty next month — a calm happy truly 
philosophic life. No grief, scarcely sadness, in such 
a departure ; but it leaves the world lonelier, and us 
the readier to go when our day comes. 

June 13. — Walking with William Morris from the 
Society of Arts to Bloomsbury last Friday, we talked, 
among other things, of believing or not believing in 
a God, and he said ' It's so unimportant, it seems to 
me,' and he went on to say that all we can get to, do 
what we will, is a form of words. 

I think we agree in part, not entirely ; but in the 
street and in a hurry explanation was impossible. 

^ On May i ith Allingham's youngest child, Henry William Allingham, 
was born. 

1882 WITLEY 317 

' Le Sujet de Dieu ' might be called unimportant in 
a sense, because, as the French editor said, ' il manque 

One knows that it is impossible to arrive at any- 
thing definite, and those who do not trouble their heads 
about the matter can get on as well as other people, 
so far as one sees. 

It must be remembered, however, that our whole 
society is based upon traditionary belief in a God, and, 
believe what we will, we continue to get the benefit of 
this in many ways. But there are, and always will be, 
many people who cannot help asking often and anxiously, 
' Is there a God ? — Is there no God ? ' and the sort of 
answer that comes home may be highly important to 
them and others in its practical results, especially in 
certain crises, common to human life, but new and 
intensely interesting to each human being. In crises, too, 
of national life the subject may have a terrible actuality. 
• But this does not justify dogmatism upon it. Here 
also I think sincerity best, with oneself and others. I 
will have nothing to do with the Church of Rome, or 
indeed with any form of Christianity, in spite of all the 
beauty and power, all the comforting and controlling 
influences, because I know the structure is built on false 
dogmas. No verbal Revelation of any date, in any 
tongue, has the least authority with me. Nor do I 
want a puppet God constructed or kept up because it 
may scare some from robbery and revolution, murder 
and suicide ; and it seems to me that whoever goes 
about to describe or define the Deity, sets up an idol or 
puppet, a man's work, whether it be mean as African 
fetish or majestic as the Jupiter of Pheidias. We 
cannot in the least describe, or comprehend, or even 
think Deity. And yet we can believe in Deity, and 
that belief is not fantastic, but natural, sound, and 
reasonable. There is to me no conception of the 
Universe possible save as the dominion of Power and 
Wisdom, unfathomably great, yet in sympathy with my 

31 8 BROADLANDS 1882 

own intelligent nature ; a Greatness presenting itself to 
me (when I dare at all to shape it) as a true Personality, 
comprising all that man at his best in measured degree 
feels, thinks, and is ; and much more. 

Almighty God^ — to whom turns my soul, sharing, 
I know not how, the mystic divine nature ; whose 
reality is indubitable, whose quality is incomprehen- 
sible, whose plans are inscrutable. This conception 
is in harmony and consistency with my whole moral, 
reasonable, and imaginative being. It bears little 
talking about, and that only in the choicest moments. 
Logic has no hold here. Rhetoric is out of place. I 
do not know that I am bound to turn my mind towards 
the problem of the universe, or that any one is bound 
to send his thoughts outside of his daily life and business. 
But my mind does naturally and voluntarily so turn, 
and when it does so turn it finds before it the idea 
of God^ and therefrom receives a sense of strength and 
serenity. Nor is this experience contradicted in the 
least by anything that I know, feel, or imagine. 

August 23. — To Southampton [British Association]. 

Tuesday^ August 3 1 . — Broadlands ; Romsey. Lord 
and Lady Mount-Temple, Mr. Geo. Russell, M.P. 
The Gladstones starting for Stonehenge to join excursion. 

I in Lord Palmerston's library for several hours. 

Talk about Dizzy — Lord M. said he was in the 
House the night Disraeli made his first speech. He 
spoke in a florid, hustings style, and the House laughed, 
more and more as he went on. He began a sentence — 
' I think I see Britannia, with the Cap of Liberty in one 

hand, and in the other ' but shouts of laughter 

drowned his voice. At last, after a pause, he said, ' It 
is useless for me to continue — but the time will come 
when you shall hear me,' and he sat down. Every one 
heard the concluding words. Mr. Campbell (afterwards 
Lord C), who was sitting near him, said in a stage whisper 
' Mr. Disraeli, I'm very anxious to know what it was 
Britannia had in her other hand,' but received no reply. 



D. was very dressy, with curled hair, and rings worn 
over his gkrves. Mr. Russell said that after this Dizzy 
began to cultivate the country-gentleman style of speak- 
ing, very practical and unadorned, taking for his subjects 
the Corn Laws, Hop duties, and so forth. 

D.'s family was originally Spanish, of the ancient 
house of Lara ; an ancestor changed his name and 
abode, and settled at Venice as D'Israeli. 


Towards the end of the year. 

I have neglected my diary a long while. At the 
time it seldom seems worth doing Let me try back. 

Mr. George Philip of Liverpool, publisher, came 
and lunched with us. He agreed to publish Blackberries 
and Day and Night Songs — bought Helen's * Cottage 
Garden, Spring.' 

I went to Haslemere one day to get names to a 
letter to Lord Derby, asking him not to enclose certain 
roadsides hereabouts on the property he has lately 
bought towards Hindhead. Caught Dr. Tyndall at 
station, who signed, saying that Lord Derby told him 
himself he intended to do all he could to keep the 
beauty of these places unspoilt. Walked up to 
Aldworth, saw Hallam, then Tennyson, who signed. 

T. — ' I don't know whether you can help me ' — 
taking a book off the table — ' I'm not satisfied with 
this ' — then he read — 

Low-flowing breezes are roaming the broad valley dimm'd in the 

W. A. — ' That's a very old favourite of mine — hope 
you won't alter it.' 

T. — ' Some of the things don't seem to agree with the 
time spoken of.' 

W. A. — ' The total effect is harmonious. It's like a 
landscape in an old Italian picture.' 

T. — ' I know : but I fear the water-gnats are not 
right : they would not be out so late.' 

320 ALDWORTH 1883 

I suggested transposing the line — 

Over the pools in the burn water-gnats murmur and mourn — 

SO as to bring it in earlier in the piece, which need not 
be supposed to show one moment merely, but a deepen- 
ing twilight. He tried this in several ways then put it 
by for further consideration, and came out upon Black- 
down and saw the close of one of these strange rich 
volcanic sunsets, now in our skies — floating ghost, 
perhaps, of a mountain blown to atoms. He spoke of 
Edward FitzGerald — had not seen him for years before 
his death ; FitzGerald could not be got to visit. 

' But no sort of quarrel ? ' 

' O no ! fancy my quarrelling with dear old Fitz ! ' 

We talked a little about the steam voyage with 

' Why did you read " The Grandmother " to the 
great folk ? ' 

T. — ' The Princess of Wales asked for it ; she had 
heard Mrs. Greville read it. I read it in a cabin on 
deck ; the Princess sat close to me on one side and a 
young lady whom I didn't know on the other. The 
wind came through an open window and the Princess 
whispered "Put on your hat" — but I said I ought if 
possible to make myself balder than ever before so 
many Royalties ! She said again, " Oh put it on ! " 
so I did, and I heard afterwards that the King of 
Denmark's Court-Fool who was in the background 
(they really keep a Court-Fool) remarked, " He may 
be Laureate, but he has not learnt Court manners." 

' When I was done the ladies praised me, and I patted 
the unknown one on the back by way of reply, and 
presently I found out she was the Empress of Russia.' 

' Had you any talk with the Czar ? ' 

' Hardly any — he said he couldn't speak English. 
Perhaps he was disgusted at my patting his wife on the 
back. His head was up in the cabin ceiling as he 
walked about below.' 

1883 WITLEY 321 

Tennyson said the finest thing he saw on the voyage 
was one night as he stood at the bow of the great 
steamer and saw, as it were, the whole sea rushing 
past like an immeasurable river to some unknown gulf. 

We came to Sussex Gate, as I call it, " on the 
boundary of the two counties. ' Come into Surrey,' I 
said ; ' No, I can't,' says he, ' but I'll strike the gate- 
post with my stick ; I generally do — like Johnson 
with the posts in Fleet Street.' So we parted. I went 
on to Mr. Hodgson's, who signed the letter, 

August. — William De Morgan came. Argument 
about Genius — he thought it meant inspiration, as by 
a familiar spirit or demon, 

September 1 2. — We dined at Pinewood, Sir Henry and 
Lady Holland, etc. — Irish Members, South Africa. 

[There was also an interesting evening at Mr. (now 
Sir Robert) Hunter's, where the AUinghams met Mr. 
and Mrs. Henry Fawcett.] 

The Poynters at Bowler's Green : our intercourse 
was pleasant and friendly. 

Caldecott looks in from hunting, his mare having 
cast a shoe. 

Charles Keene calls — we walk. He speaks of 
Edward FitzGerald — odd — dressed roughly — disliked 
London. ' You fellows in clubs and so on praise each 
other's things, poor as they may be ! ' F. went with K. 
to a studio, and after coming away asked, ' Why did you 
say " very nice " ^ You know you didn't like them.' 

K. once sent him a little sketch out of his pocket- 
book of some cottages near Woodbridge. F. returned 
it with the remark, ' I could do as well myself.' He 
kept a Commonplace Book of extracts, Haljf-hours with 
the Worst Authors. K. hopes it will be published. ' F. 
had his favourite murders, and I had mine,' 

I read to Sonny and Evey The Tempest, Midsr. Night's 
D., As Tou Like It (the plot of the last much strained), 

John, Mayor of Waterford (for 1884) : goes to 
Parnell Banquet. 




[Early in this year the Allinghams spent some weeks 
at Hampstead, near to Mrs. Paterson (Mrs. Ailing- 
ham's Mother) and her son and daughter. There are 
notes of visits to many old friends in Town, — and of 
a night at the Corner House, Shortlands, with Mr. and 
Mrs. George Craik.] 

March 23. — Sandhills. The 'Forward Oak' is be- 
ginning to show a green top about this time. 

March 26. — H. and I to the Evans's — Miss Kate 

Sunday^ March 30. — Mild. With Sonny and Sissy 
down Haselmere Lane and into * Primrose Land ' — 
copse abounding in primroses, wood -anemones, some 
violets — wood-spurge sprouting. Home with basket of 

Wednesday^ April 2. — Fine. Visitors — Mrs. and 
Miss Mangles, Mrs. Hunter, Mr. Burdon. 

The wallflowers now are rich, germander speedwells 
fine blue. 

April 3. — Pruning currant-bushes. Walk with 
Sonny and Evey, Brook Road, little common. Skirt 
Banacle Copse, violets, stitchwort. Ants. 

June. — I low in spirits : the going over and in part 
burning old letters and papers very doleful and trying. 

Have I been half kind enough, or grateful enough, 
or' humble enough } How much kindness and friend- 
ship I have received ! 



^ii ill t<i in . lllutaluun 

.'-9iviii ,1 /rah-rcc/oiii .ikrh/i 

1884 WITLEY 323 

Nine years of subediting and editing Fraser^ and 
what a list of people I have offended for life, by 
declining their contributions or in other ways ! My 
name was known in connection with the Magazine, 
and people applied to me personally and took personal 
offence, even when J. A. F. was the really responsible 
person. Enough of it ! 

June 25. — Helen and I by invitation to the wedding 
of Hallam and Miss Audrey Boyle. The T. party 
were in our train in another carriage. We met at 
Waterloo Station. We in hansom to Dean's Yard — 
take our places in Henry VII. 's Chapel. Enter old 
Mrs. Procter and daughter, who sat next us ; Lord 
Houghton, Mr. Lewis Morris, Mr. Matthew Arnold, 
Lecky, etc. Browning up in a Stall ; he caught my eye 
and gave a friendly wink. Tennyson came in, cool 
and self-possessed, with Mrs. F. Locker on his arm. 
Lady Tennyson, supported by Lionel. 

Ceremony. Then we all moved out slowly to the 
Deanery. Caldecott joined us in the aisle. Lecky, 
Mrs. Lecky, etc., etc. We had little more than a 
glimpse of the Bride — Happiness to them ! worthy 
young people, they deserve it. 

A shakehands with Dean Bradley, who asks me 
to find him a cottage in our neighbourhood to run 
down to. 

In the Chapel we had just in front of us, and spoke 
to, T.'s sisters, Matilda — always most simple, friendly, 
and a pleasure to talk to — and Mrs. Lushington, whom 
we know but from one evening together at Dover. 
Mr. Lushington, after all these years, recollected me 
well and some talk we had together (which I have 
forgotten) — he looks little older, and bears his age like 
a cheerful wise man. 

JVitley, July 26. — After much urging from H. (I 
have always a rooted belief that people don't really 
want to see me) I went to Haslemere to-day : cool 
with showers : and walked up to Aldworth, arriving 

324 ALD WORTH 1884 

about 3 P.M. Found an arch in Avenue, 'Welcome 
Home' — so the Bride and Bridegroom are back. 
' Lady Tennyson ' — ' Yes sir,' — on her sofa, sweet, pale 
and friendly. 

Enter Hallam, looking stouter and face broadened. 
He tries his Father's door. ' Come in,' and there was 
T., just wakened from his usual nap — glad to see me, 
and says, ' I've done an Irish poem and I want you to 
help me with the brogue. But you're from the North.' 

I told him I knew various Irish brogues — had he 
chosen any one in particular .? 


He took up Carleton's Traits and Stories, which he 
was reading for the first time (to get up the brogue), 
and was delighted with, all the more for its caricature. 
Then he produced the MS. of ' Molly Maghee ' (I asked 
him to strike out the ' h '), and we spent about an hour 
over it. First Tennyson read the piece to me, I com- 
menting on it ; then I read it to him, he looking over 
my arm the while. Aubrey de Vere gave him the 
subject, as a fact — the body of a man drowned in a 
bog-hole found undecayed after forty years or so. His 
old sweetheart recognises him and drops down ' dead 
on the dead.' The same incident is told of a Cornish 
miner, and I published a prose story upon it in Leigh 
Hunt's Journal. Hamilton Aide has a poem on the 
same subject. I suggested many corrections in the 
brogue, and some in other points. I told T. the Irish 
would not like it, but he didn't see why not. 

I am pressed to stay for dinner, and then to stay the 
night — consent, and send telegram to Helen. Then 
T. and I, in rain, make a little run in the copses to a 
new summer-house with a writing-table and pens, and 
a vista cut in front to see the vast view of the weald, 
etc. Dinner at 6.30. Stay a Httle with Lady T. and 
Hallam : then drawing-room, where T. at table close to 
window with Mrs. Hallam — wine and strawberries. 

He thinks England is entering on gloomy times — 

1884 ALD WORTH 325 

perhaps coming to the end of her grandeur and glory. 
* Goschen feels the same — is much depressed about it, 
the Lord Chancellor too. I voted for the Franchise to 
avoid worse things.' 

I said I wished he had voted against Pigeon Torture. 

Hallam. — 'So do I.' 

T. said nothing, but I stuck to the subject. 

' Hope you'll vote for the Bill next time.' 

' Don't think I'll ever go into the House again,' 

' Well, you can pair.' 

' Lecky says the Irish want a despot,' and T. agrees. 

' The English are not poetical or musical or clever 
— they're very stupid and heavy — but they are for 
reasonable and constitutional liberty, that a man should 
have his own opinion without being knocked on the 
head for it. In Ireland, if I don't agree with a man, 
he shoots me or knocks my brains out ! I never knew 
a rational Irishman in my life ! except you ' (this 
sounded very parenthetical), ' and you don't care a pin 
for the grand Empire of England. You ought to be 
proud surely to be part of it. There you are, with an 
English name, English in every way, but you happened 
to be born in Ireland, therefore you are for it.' 

I pleaded that I was more impartial than most 
people ; ' if I were Nationalist I might be popular in 
Ireland and perhaps get into Parliament if I liked. 
My brother was offered a seat for Waterford free of 

T. — ' I hate to think of Ireland. Here they are, 
after 700 years raging and roaring.' 

W. A. — ' A most unlucky country ! ' (to which 
Hallam agreed). ' Suppose England tried leaving them 
to themselves.' 

T.— ' Civil War ! ' 

W. A. — ' Then let them settle it. England would 
be able to take care of herself.' 

T. — ' Ireland might join with France against 

326 ALDWORTH 1884 

W. A. — ' Another plan : take away all franchise and 
representation from Ireland for seven years, letting her 
manage her local affairs as she pleases.' 

T. — ' They would roar incessantly. I hate speaking 
of it ! ' (da capo). 

T. was shocked to hear of William Morris's 
Democratic Socialism, and asked to see a copy of Justice. 
(Morris's Justice^ I partly agree with and partly detest. 
It is incendiary and atheistic, and would upset every- 
thing. How about America, which started a hundred 
years ago as a democracy with almost ideal advantages ? 
I want reforms and thorough-going ones, but not by 
the hands of atheists and anarchists.) 

By the evening post came a packet from ' O. Weber,' 
Copenhagen, asking Lord Tennyson to present the 
enclosed MS. translation into Danish of his splendid 
dramas The Cup and The Falcon to H.R.H. the Prin- 
cess of Wales. 

Sunday^ July 27. — Aldworth. About eleven T. and 
I came out to walk, first to the stables, where he 
unchained a Deerhound, a black Setter and two smaller 
dogs, then with these on Blackdown — along road, 
returning by Chase Farm uphill through planta- 

Poetry — Browning : ' one is constantly aware of the 
greatness of the man, yet somehow baulked of satis- 

' He offered me the subject of The Ring and the 
Book. " My Last Duchess " is very fine.' 

As he stood looking at the pond by Chase Farm, 
I spoke of Ruskin's essay on versification, and his 
selection of Coleridge as the exemplar of a bad Versifier, 
and of these lines from 'Christabel ' as an example of bad 
verse — 

But vainly thou warrest, 

For this is alone in 
Thy power to declare, 

That in the dim forest 
Thou heard'st a low moaning, 

1884 ALDWORTH 327 

And found'st a bright lady, surpassingly fair ; 

And did'st bring her home with thee in love and in charity, 

To shield her and shelter her from the damp air. 

* Nobody,' I said, ' but a true and heaven-born Metrist 

could have written that — 'twas like a legato passage on 

the violin, flowing through from beginning to end with 

one bow.' T. did not entirely agree. He objected to — 

Did'st bring her home with thee in love and in charity. 

I said the whole passage had an air of spontaneous- 
ness, of naivety, and this to me was the last perfection 
of poetry. 

T. — * The last perfection is the wild and wonder- 

Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam, 
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.' 

W. A. — ' Coleridge was a great poet. — Well, he 
was an endless talker, but not a bothering one ; 'twas 
like a fountain running, you went away from it when 
you pleased. He did not care about convincing or 
converting or convicting you.' 

T. — * Ruskin's dictum is not to be relied on.' 

W. A. — ' Especially on poetry. He printed a volume 
of poems of his own ; but that (he wrote to me once) is 
" the disgrace of whatever faculty I possess." — Recently 
he has republished his Oxford Prize Poem on the 
*' Caves of Elephanta " — entirely worthless.' 

When on the upper road, looking over the gate 
where you see the Valewood ponds below, we still spoke 
of poetry. 

' One believes in a poet,' I said, ' whose lines are 
perpetually coming into one's mind. Yours do with 

T. — ' Repeat a line.' 

W. A. — ' Dozens, if you like.' 

T. — ' I was praising one of Rogers's poems to him 
once and he said, " Repeat a passage — ha, you can't," 
and I couldn't at the moment.' 

32 8 ALDWORTH 1884 

W. A. — ' Well, that's barley, not wheat, but here's a 
line it brings to my mind — 

And waves of shadow went over the wheat. 

' After the thunder-storm the other day, as many a 
time before, I repeated to myself — 

Sweet after showers, ambrosial air, 

That rollest from the gorgeous gloom 
Of evening ' 

T. interrupted me and, as he spoke, stood still and 
faced me (a custom of his) — 

' You can't say it so sweetly as I can "! ' and repeated 
the whole stanza, and on, to ' the round of space.' 

I always rejoice to hear him recite. 

* It all goes together,' said he. 

' Yes,' said I, ' especially when you sit down to the 
organ. You won't listen to me and so I hurry.' 

As we turned down Pack Horse Lane, T. spoke of 
Eternal Punishment as an obsolete belief. 

I said, ' At Witley Station hangs on the wall a large 
book of Bible Texts, one page for each day of the 
month. To-day I read — " All the dead shall arise, the 
righteous to eternal life, the wicked to everlasting 
damnation." ' 

T. — ' It's not a right translation.' 

W. A. — ' But it's the authoritative teaching of the 

T. — ' Have you read Farrar's book } ' 

W. A. — ' I never read such books.' 

T. — ' Oh, but here he proves from original sources 
that no such doctrine existed in the early days of 

I told T. that Bishop Wilberforce was very proud of 
having saved the Athanasian Creed when the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury was for giving it up, which 
interested him. 

' Did he ? My father (I think it was his father) 
would never read the Athanasian Creed.' 

1884 ALD WORTH 329 

As we entered the back wicket and went along the 
shady little walk to the house T. said, ' You're not 
orthodox, and I can't call myself orthodox. Two 
things however I have always been firmly convinced 
of,- — God, — and that death will not end my existence.' 

W. A.—' So I believe.' 

T. (stopping and turning round) — ' Do you hold 
these ? ' 

W. A.—' I do.' 

He was going up for his usual sleep, and asked me 
not to go till he came down again about half-past three. 
So I sat and read in the middle parlour. Then went 
up and found him just after wakening. He came out, 
unloosed the dogs again, and walked with me along the 
road till we met Mrs. Hodgson coming to call. T. 
asked me to turn back, but I took leave and walked 
off to Witley, glad to have seen so much of the dear 
man, and sad not to see more. 

August 2. — Warm — with breeze. H., I and Sonny 
and Evey to Godalming, by invitation, to the Wallaces,^ 
Frith Hill, beside the Water Tower. Hot climb. Mr. 
and Mrs. Wallace in garden. Willy, Violet — children 
race about. 

W. shows us round his garden — rare plants and 
flowers — little ' Californian tulip,' light yellow, three 
petals — green hairs inside — Canadian lily — Flowers of 
one day. Eucalyptus, three kinds, very tender. 

Sit with Wallace under tree and talk a long while 
on Spiritualism, apparitions, mediums, etc.—' the Cock 
Lane Ghost was real (as Johnson believed), but they 
teased the girl into imposture at last.' He said about 
one person in ten, probably, is a medium. 

He spoke with unqualified praise of every book and 
writer on the spiritualistic side — William Howitt, 
Professor De Morgan, Professor Barrett, F. W. H. 
Myers, etc. — showed us, in a magazine, drawings done 
by thought-readers. He gave an account, essentially 

1 Mr. Alfred Russell Wallace. 

330 ALDWORTH 1884 

Swedenborgian, of the state of spirits in the next world 
— but he does not take Swedenborg for a prophet. 

I told him of my mentally seeing The Times with a 
black border one morning before I went into the room 
where it lay. It was for Prince Leopold's death. He 
asked do I usually ' visualise ' the things I think of ? 
' Yes, always.' ' I do not at all (he said) — my mind has 
only thoughts.' Then spoke of Galton's division of all 
minds into the visualising and the non-visualising class. 

August 4. — To Lythe Hill, Mrs. Stewart Hodgson's 
— Roomful — Corney Grain performing. Lord 
Tennyson, Hallam, Mrs. Hallam, Mr. Buckton, Mr. 
Macmillan, Wife and Daughter, Mrs. Pratt, etc. Mrs. 
Hunter drives us to station, and asks us to dine on 

Thursday^ August 7. — A hot day. Helen and I all 
the afternoon at Aldworth. Various visitors and 
callers, so I had little talk with T. 

Some numbers of Justice — Democrat Socialist paper 
which I lent him — made him ' vomit mentally,' he said. 
He would agree to the heavy taxing of large incomes 
if it could be done. I told him about Alfred Wallace, 
whom we visited last Saturday, and Spiritualism. 
Wallace a thorough-going believer — but has had no 
experiences himself. Also, he never visualises his 
thoughts. I suggested that to such a man the mere 
visualising power of some other minds might appear 
supernatural, he having nothing like it in his experience. 

T. — ' I said long ago, " A poet never sees a Ghost." ' 

Still, he is most anxious to believe in ghosts. 

' As to visualising,' he said, * I often see the most 
magnificent landscapes.' 

' In dreams ? ' 

'Yes, and on closing my eyes. To-day when I 
lay down I saw a line of huge wonderful cliffs rising 
out of a great sweep of forest — finer than anything in 

Other gifts he has, but T. is especially and pre- 



eminently a landscape-painter in words, a colourist, rich, 
full and subtle. 

He has, latently, a very practical side to his 
character, and in using this his profound quietude of 
temperament and manner helps im.mensely. 

We talked of Carlyle. T. said, ' He used to tell 
me, " You must do this — You mustn't do that " — 
but I never minded him in the least. I repeated some 
of Marvell's lines about Holland to Carlyle — 

They with mad labour fished the land to shore — 

but he saw no humour in them, and said it was wrong 
to ridicule a serious diligent Nation.' 

Mem. — Tennyson read Baudelaire's Fleurs du Mal^ 
and thought him ' a kind of moralist,' though his 
subjects, he allowed, are shocking. I could not agree 
(and had, I think, studied Baudelaire more closely) ; 
he seems to me to take pleasure in seeing evil com- 
mitted, and also in seeing evil-doers punished — a devil 
rather than a moralist. 

September 8. — H. and I to Aid worth. In the draw- 
ing-room we find Lady Tennyson — then T. comes in. 
His two little grandsons run in. Tennyson went to 
his bedroom and returned with a soap-dish and piece 
of soap, which he rubbed into a lather, and proceeded 
to blow bubbles, himself much delighted with the 
little crystal worlds and their prismatic tints — ' Never 
was anything seen so beautiful ! You artists (to H.) 
can't get such colours as these.' 

The children jumped and laughed, and we fanned 
the bubbles to the ceiling and watched them burst in 
various parts of the room. Then T., inverting his 
pipe, blew up a magic cluster of diamond domes on the 
saucer, which rolled over and wetted his knees, till we 
put a newspaper to save him. Next he took his trusty 
tobacco pipe, lighted it and blew opaque bubbles which 
burst with a tiny puff of smoke, like shells over a 
besieged fortress. 

332 ALDWORTH 1884 

I said, ' Do you remember Vivier, the French horn- 
player, doing that in Tom Taylor's garden ? ' 

T. — ' I was just thinking of that.' 

We were asked more than once to stay, but hurried 
off to the train. 

September. — After the hot summer, rain — then fine 
autumnal weather. 

The Oulesses at Grayswood : walks and calls. 

Thursday^ November 6. — Tennyson wished me to 
bring Mr. Alfred R. Wallace to visit him. It was 
arranged that W. and I should go over to-day. Mr. 
Wallace came by the 12.35 train from Godalming, 
and Helen and I (she specially invited by Hallam) 
joined at Witley. At Haslemere we found Hallam 
with a pony-carriage. 

T. ' not well ' — looking languid and rather sad. 

At luncheon, talk about the tropic woods : Wallace 
said you would find one kind of tree in flower for 
about a week, and at another time another kind of 
tree in flower for a short time, but you might come 
again and again and find no flowers at all ; there were 
never in the Tropics such masses of floral colour as in 
an English Spring. 

T. was disappointed at this, and asked about the 
trailing plants. W. called them ' glorious,' but more 
for the rich drapery than the colours. The palm-tops 
are mostly a grayish green. 

We digressed to novels. Mr. W. (rather to my 
surprise) reads ' a good many in the course of the 
year,' but does not hurry over them. He and Hallam 
exchanged names of novels to be ordered from the 
Circulating Library, Lord Tennyson being an incessant 
novel-reader. While we were speaking of woods 
etc. T. said, ' Bayard Taylor, who has been everywhere, 
said the most beautiful sight he ever saw was a wood in 
Lapland covered with frozen rain and the sun shining 
on it.' 

Also, ' Sir Robert Kane said the most awful thing 

i884 ALD WORTH 333 

he ever experienced was the absolute silence of an 
Arctic winter.' 

Mr. Wallace, Hallam and I went round the grounds, 
looking at various conifers. 

To the Study. W. gave details of table-rapping, 
table-prancing, and so forth, his own experiences and 
other people's. He never doubts any statement what- 
ever in favour of ' Spiritualism,' and has an answer to 
every objection. ' Maskelyne and Cooke do wonderful 
things.' — * Yes, partly by the help of mediumship.' 

' The " Spirits " often give foolish and misleading 
answers.' — ' Yes, as might be expected ; that only 
proves them to be human beings.' 

' Why noises and motions of tables ? Why these 
particular "Mediums"?' — 'Such are the conditions; 
why, we do not know.' 

W. said it was absurd to suppose that Matter could 
move itself. I ventured to remark that Matter, so far 
as we can penetrate, does move itself, indeed is per- 
petually in motion. 

He rejoined that in table-rapping etc. the phe- 
nomena were manifestly governed by an intelligence like 
our own. The means of communication between the 
Unseen World and ours were few and difficult. 

Here Tennyson said, 'A great ocean pressing round us 
on every side, and only leaking in by a few chinks ' ? — 
of which Wallace took no notice, but went on to describe 
instances of spirit-writing on slates, by Slade and others. 

(I fear my tone all through was hardly respectful to 
the spirits.) 

Somehow or other a sudden digression was made to 
politics, and W. came out with a strong opinion of the 
worthlessness of the House of Lords and the absurdity 
of the hereditary principle. 

T. said, ' I think I respect it more than the other 

W. — ' The other House wants reforming very badly, 
no doubt.' 


334 ALD WORTH 1884 

The Duke of Marlborough was mentioned. Wallace 
denounced the purchase of his Raphael with the public 
money as ' scandalous ' — would not buy any pictures 
or works of art with the taxpayers' money — ' let wealthy 
men buy and present them to the nation if they think 

Egypt somehow came in, and Wallace thought we 
ought to leave the Mahdi alone. He is perhaps a great 
man, and at all events we know no harm of him. 

T. — * I know no good of him.' 

W. A. — ' Would you not like to see the Nile ? ' 

T. — ' I'd much rather see tropical nature, but now I 
never shall.' 

And then he questioned W. again about tropical 
scenery, producing a poem in MS., from which he read 
two or three lines about palms and purple seas. He 
wanted to know if the palm-trees could be seen rising 
distinct above the rest of the forest. 

W. — ' Yes, on a hill-side.' 

* What colour are they } ' 

' Rather light — gray-green.' 

' Is an expanse of tropical forest dark, seen from 
above ? ' 

' Not particularly ; less so than an English wood- 

T. — ' Then I must change the word " dark." ' 

He writes his poetry now in trim small quarto 
books, in limp covers, the writing as neat as ever, tho' 
sometimes a little shaky. He keeps these books handy 
and takes them up very often, both at set times and 
odd moments, considering and correcting, and frequently 
reading new poems aloud from them, first to his family 
and afterwards to visitors. After the compositions are 
put into type he usually keeps them by him in proof 
for a long time, months or even years, reconsidering 
and perfecting every part. 

T. referred with praise to Wallace's book. Tropical 
Nature, and remarked, ' You have said something very 

1884 ALDWORTH 335 

bold about Matter ? I think Matter more mysterious 
than Spirit. I can conceive, in a way, what Spirit is, 
but not Matter.' 

W. — ' I conceive Matter not as a substance at all, 
but as points of energy^ and that if these were withdrawn 
Matter would disappear.' 

T. said this was something like his own notion. 

W. — ' So far from a material atom being indestruc- 
tible, I believe that all the Matter in existence might be 
immediately destroyed by the withdrawal of the sustain- 
ing Force.' 

Tuesday^ November 25. — On a sudden impulse I 
walked up from Sandhills about 3 o'clock, to call at 
Aldworth, the roads greasy with a thaw, ice on pools. 
On Blackdown met Hallam, and then Tennyson. 
They hospitably determined that I was to stay the night, 
and would telegraph to Witley accordingly. They had 
come along the road to meet Miss Ritchie coming from 
London, who soon appeared, and we walked to the 
house together. In the ante-room, Miss Matilda and 
tea, and we all looked at a large coloured caricature, 
' The Tower of Babel,' with portraits of peers, M.P.'s, 
etc. etc. 

Miss R. said, ' What a pity Mr. Gladstone sees so 
many sides of a subject.' 

T. — ' No, that he doesn't do — he cannot see all 
round a thing. Bacon could. Bacon says, "It were 
good if men in their innovations would follow the 
example of Time itself, which indeed innovateth 
greatly, but quietly, and by degrees scarce to be 
perceived." ' 

I said, ' Yes, but we ought not to wait to be forced 

T. rejoined, ' Bacon says that too,' and went on to 
complain of the crude and dangerous haste of modern 

(Bacon's Essays^ by the way, are mostly bundles of 
antitheses, and offer weapons to opposite combatants.) 

336 ALDWORTH 1884 

In the evening Tennyson questioned me again about 
Irish brogue, ' How do they pronounce " door " ? ' 

I answer, like ' boor ' : ' floor ' sometimes thus, and 
sometimes with a sharper u — hke ' flute.' 

T. has rhymed ' door ' to ' asthore ' in his Irish poem, 
and is uneasy in his mind about it, notwithstanding 
Aubrey de Vere's thinking it all right. 

In * Mary Donnelly ' I have — 

When she stood up for dancing her steps were so complete 
The music nearly killed itself to listen to her feet — 

but I avoid writing brogue, and leave it to the speaker 
or singer. An Irishman could read these lines without 
a jar in the rhymes and at the same time without saying 
' complate ' in a broadly vulgar manner. But T. insists 
on the brogue all through his piece ; it's a brogue 
poem, and the rhymes ought to help emphatically. 

Hallam showed me his father's lines in the St. James's 
Gazette about the cataract. T. coming to us, said it 
was a cataract like those on the Nile (not precipitous), 
the river is supposed to divide round an island. The 
first word, printed ' Statesman,' he has altered into 
' Steersman.' 

We spoke of Gladstone's oratory : I said I thought 
Brougham's (whom I heard two or three times) the 
most like it in practised verbosity and the long sentences 
out of which the speaker wound himself at last without 
a break — few memorable passages in either case. 

Tennyson is very fond of Gladstone as a private 

Then spoke of Carlyle : Froude's quotation of the 
bitterness against Gladstone. I told Carlyle's saying 
about Dizzy : ' I wonder how long John Bull will 
allow this Jew to dance on his belly ! ' which amused 

T. or Hallam said that Gladstone (his own account) 
gave Carlyle offence at Rogers's table by refusing to 
agree in Carlyle's estimate of Goethe, and C. never 

1884 ALDWORTH 337 

forgave him. Gladstone laughed at the description of 
himself as ' the contemptiblest man.' 

T. thinks Byron's morals ought not to be considered 
in judging his poetry. ' Unless they come into his 
poetry ' (I maintain), and they certainly do. But it is 
less as voluptuary than as sneerer that I can't bear Lord 
Byron. T. thinks he was perhaps the cleverest man of 
his time. The more shame for him to be what he was. 

Byron was just before T.'s time, so there are no 
personal feelings one way or other such as are almost 
inevitably mixed with contemporary estimates. 

W. A. — ' Did you ever meet Coleridge ? ' 

T. — ' No, I was asked to visit him, but I wouldn't.' 

W. A. — ' Coleridge was a " noticeable man, with 
large gray eyes." ' 

T.— ' Oh yes.' 

We talked a good deal about metres — nothing new. 
T. brought on again the question of the rhymes in his 
Irish piece. 

I said, ' Have Maria (an Irish housemaid here) and 
try her with them.' 

T. on this told us a little story — ' A Suffolk vicar 
going into a parishioner's cottage found a Catholic 
engraving on the wall, the Virgin with St. Joseph on 
one side and St. Somebody else on the other. The 
woman of the house had got it by some chance.' 

' Did she know what it meant .'' ' 

' Well, yes, she'd made it out : *' There's the young 
woman, and two men making up to her, and the one 
man he says to t'other at last, ' 'Ave Maria i ' That's 
what's wrote up, you see, sir." ' 

Miss Ritchie played us some Beethoven finely. At 
Hallam's request she tried Edward FitzGerald's music 
(MS.) to ' Locksley Hall,' but found it amateurish in 

Next day, wonderfully fine, T. started at his usual 
time (11.30) for a walk. Miss Ritchie, Hallam and I 
with him, and two dogs. We went by Chase Farm, 


338 ALDWORTH 1884 

fine yellow russets still on the woods. T. stopped us 
to see the white doves on the outhouse. Then on the 
western ridge of Blackdown, looking over Valewood, 
Lynchmere, etc., mistily rich, hills folded on hills. In 
the foreground some bushes of gorse in good bloom. 
T. went up to one taller than himself, covered with 
new golden blossoms, and stood looking at it : I have 
the picture in my mind. 

Speaking of the new Franchise Bill, Miss R. said, 
* I suppose there's no country where the people care 
so much for politics as in England ^ ' 

T. — ' I hate politics ! I'm for the Empire, but I 
hate politics. The Queen said to me, " / hate politics," 
and no wonder she does. As to this Bill, I don't 
believe the people care anything about it.' 

In the evening Miss Tennyson reminded Alfred of 
the stories he used to tell his brothers and sisters. 
One called ' The Old Horse ' lasted for months. 

December 5. — A fine day. H. and I to Blackdown. 
We found her last year's point of view, and she sat 
courageously for two hours sketching in the cold, for 
'twas an eager air tho' the sun shone. An immense 
level of thin cloud stretched moveless from north 
to south over the great Sussex landscape — green fields, 
houses, villages, stood forth in the sunlight ; clear, 
remote, all silent ; near at hand a bold sweeping slope 
of rusty fern, gorse clumps coming into Christmas 
blossom, mixed with a few hollies and stunted firs. 

On the next ridge, a mile off or so as the crow 
flies, push up through sheathing woods the gray stone 
chimneys and blue roofs of the Poet's mansion, looking 
this way with an upper window or two. Then far and 
wide the map-like prospect from Haslemere and Leith 
Hill to the South Downs. I walked to the south end of 
Blackdown, glorious views ; came back with a chimney- 
sweeper who was taking a short-cut to Haslemere and 
complained that the farmers do not know the value of 
soot for land. 

1884 ALDWORTH 339 

Found H. very cold, but working still ; and away 
we walked to Aldworth to find her a cup of tea. 
On the road we met T. himself, most friendly, who 
turned back with us and left H. in charge of his Sister ; 
then he came out again and finished his walk in my 

T. — ' I'm an old fellow and must exercise. One 
may do without it in youth, but not in age.' 

W. A. — ' Carlyle used to praise London for afford- 
ing night walks in winter.' 

T.— ' I can't walk in London by night. The lights 
dazzle me.' 

We spoke of William Morris (from whom I had 
just had a long letter). 

T. said, ' He has gone crazy.' I said I agreed with 
many of Morris's notions. Labour does not get its 
fair share. 

T. — ' There's brain labour as well as hand labour.' 

W. A. — ' And there are many who get money with- 
out any labour. The question, how to hinder money 
from accumulating into lumps, is a puzzhng one.' 

T. — ' You must let a man leave money to his children. 
I was once in a coffee-shop in the Westminster Road 
at 4 o'clock in the morning. A man was raging 
" Why has So-and-So a hundred pounds, and I haven't a 
shilling ? " I said to him, " If your father had left you 
^100 you wouldn't give it away to somebody else." 
He hadn't a word to answer. I knew he hadn't.' 

T. said, ' It's a very strange thing that, according to 
Wallace, none of the Spirits that communicate with 
men ever mention God, or Christ.' 

I said I always felt that the Deity was infinitely above 
us. Another step will bring us no nearer. 

T. — ' Wallace says the system he believes in is a 
far finer one than Christianity : it is Eternal Progress — 
I have always felt that there must be somewhere Some 
one iz)ho knows — that is, God. But I am in hopes that I 
shall find something human in Him too. 

340 ALDWORTH 1884 

' Gladstone and Tyndall were sitting at my table, 
Gladstone on my right hand, Tyndall on my left. 
Tyndall began talking in his loose way about " This 
Poem — or Poetic Idea — God." Gladstone looked at 
him and said with severity, " Professor Tyndall, leave 
God to the Poets and Philosophers, and attend to your 
own business." Tyndall fell quite silent for several 

Dinner — T. in good spirits and humour ; compares 
the cheese to Alpine scenery. I quote Marcus Aurelius 
about the inequalities of a loaf. 

T. — ' C. C. would say I plagiarised from Marcus 
Aurelius. Some one has said that " As the husband 
is the wife is " is evidently from Scott. " The wife 
takes her husband's rank." ' 

Lady Tennyson came down to dinner, very pale — 
spoke and was spoken to little, went upstairs again, almost 
carried by Hallam. A dear, almost angelic woman. 

We were quoting odd and rough verses when the 
pony-carriage came — and William drove us rapidly to 
the station, feeling happy with our friendly visit. 

[There is a note of an evening at Aldworth when] 
Tennyson was amusing in his vehement denunciation 
of the old Tory aristocracy of his boyhood — the 
' county families ' — their pride, prejudice, narrowness, 
and bitter partisanship. ' At a public ball at Lincoln 
the Whig families would sit by themselves on one side 
of the room, Tory on the other, noticing each other as 
little as possible. But the youth of each sometimes 
danced together in the middle. Two ladies of opposite 
politics found themselves on the same sofa and avoided 
each other mutually as much as they might without 
turning their backs. But the curiosity of one lady 
induced her to take up a piece of the gorgeous flowing 
dress of her neighbour to look at it more closely, when 
she thought the owner's head was turned away. Round 
comes the rival lady's face with a sneering smile upon 
it : " Madam, if you'll allow me, I'll send you my 

1884 WITLEY 341 

mantua- maker's bill to look at. . . ." We are 
certainly better-off in manners nowadays ! ' 

Charles Keene at Birket Foster's for Christmas — 
calls one day. We walk by Park Lane, Bowler's Green, 
and Screw Corner. ' Loud smells not unwholesome.' 
C. K. himself has, he tells me, very little sense of smell 
— and no topographical faculty. His visit to a knacker's 
yard. Edward FitzGerald — Ed, F. used to call the 
critics ' a case of monkeys ' — had a boy to read aloud 
to him every day (in a strong Suffolk brogue) while 
he lay on a chair and smoked. 

December. — Carlyle's Life. Melancholy book. F. 
has manipulated his materials cunningly. 

[A few words may be said here of the relations — 
always cordial — between Allingham and his family and 
old friends in Ireland. There was a regular, if not 
very frequent correspondence, and little gifts were ex- 
changed at the end of the year. His sister Catherine's 
letters from Ballyshannon were always interesting to 
Allingham — though sad, too, for they came to be 
mainly records of the deaths of those he had known 
there. Visitors from ' the old country ' always had a 
warm welcome. 

At this time — 1884 — were living John, Catherine, 
Jane : and, of the second family, Edward, Hugh, and 

Now — 1907 — of these are left only John and Hugh. 

John at Waterford, with Wife, Son, and Daughter. 

Hugh and his Daughters, at Ballyshannon, where he 
is in his Father's place as Manager of the Provincial 
Bank of Ireland. 

Hugh Allingham is the author of an unpretentious 
little book, Ballyshannon, its History and Antiquities ; he 
is now busy on a more extended local history, in the 
researches for which he had valuable help from his 
late Wife. 

Sons and Daughters of Mrs. Johnston (Sister Jane) 
are living and prospering in various places.] 



[The life at Sandhills went on much as usual during the 
spring and summer of 1 885. The Tennysons had spent 
the winter at Aldworth, and Allingham went over several 
times : but there a^-e no notes of the talks to copy. 

Pleasant visits were exchanged with Mr. and Mrs. 
Harry Furniss, who stayed in Haslemere in June — and 
with many other friends. 

In September the Allinghams went to Sandown for 
a month.] 

October 13. — To Aldworth. Novels. Vanity Fair-. 
I said I was now reading some of Trollope's, and felt my 
estimate of his powers to be higher than it used to be. 

Tennyson. — ' But they're so dull — so prosaic : never 
a touch of poetry.' 

Lyme Regis — I reminded him that I was at Lyme 
in his company, and how we visited Mr. Barnes at his 
vicarage near Dorchester, — ' How is old Barnes } ' asked 
T. in a kindly tone — ' Do you ever hear from him } ' 
' Yes, I had a letter lately.' 

We spoke of Lord Houghton, his kindly nature. I 
repeated a verse of ' I wandered by the brookside,' and 
told what the author told me ; that he wrote it on an Irish 
jaunting-car driving to Edgeworthstown to visit Miss 
Edgeworth. A line or two came into his head, somehow ; 
he made the whole piece, almost without thinking of it, 
and it seemed to him (then) to have not the least value. 





^^^LV ^l^-^o-'^^^X C'<^-'Cinyy^^ cy2-c-(_y.-A '-^ 

^ <v^ /C ^A^^^-sx ^^vA^ n,^^^ ,^,^^ 


<H^ C<. Si 


i88s ALDWORTH 343 

I repeated three lines — 

Adieu, dear Yorkshire Milnes ! we think not now 

Of coronet or laurel on thy brow ; 

The kindest, faithfuUest of friends vvert thou. 

T. asked, ' Whose is that r ' 

' Mine,' I told him. 

' That's very good,' he said. 

(A rare treat to have praise from him.) 

Friday, November 6. — Fine, walked from Sandhills 
to Aldworth, through Haslemere, muddy roads, yellow 
russet woods. The Bucktons there, T. and Mr. B. 
on Natural History. T. asks ' How can Evolution 
account for the ant : ' Mr. B. says the theory presents 
many difficulties. He is studying the English cicadae. 
We go to hall door to see the B.'s off, then Tennyson 
and I take a short walk. He asks me to stay the night, 
and I accept. 

After dinner, ' To-morrow ' (late ' Molly Magee ') 
is again produced, this time in print. The whole of the 
new volume is in print, but, as usual, stays thus for a 
time, sometimes a long time, for final corrections. 
Carleton's Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry — 
with which he is delighted. I said I knew Carleton a 
little. ' Then you knew a man of genius,' said T. He 
thinks C. is not appreciated. I told him that in Ire- 
land he is, highly. Also that C, Catholic born, turned 
Protestant in youth, wrote the Traits, then returned to 
his old Church and wrote many stories, in which priests 
and other matters were handled in a different way. 

' Those are not so good, I should think,' T. said. 

I told him that Irish brogue has many nuances^ 
especially in sound ; it differs in different parts of the 
island ; and there are vulgar and unvulgar brogues ; 
and the possessor of a vulgar brogue is a subject of 
frequent imitation and ridicule among his own country- 
men. But a mild brogue in the mouth of an educated 
person, and especially of a pretty woman, is sweet and 

344 ALDWORTH 1885 

soothing, pleasant and coaxing. Her way of spe-aking 
is very different from the way an ignorant Connaught 
or Munster peasant would shpayke. I could not bring 
myself to use the vulgar brogue in verse, unless it were 
for a broadly comic purpose. 

T. said the Irish way of speaking was wonderfully 
like the Lincolnshire. 

He once more spoke a good deal about the want of 
some fixed standard of English pronunciation, or even 
some fixed way of indicating a poet's intention as to 
the pronunciation of his verses. ' It doesn't matter so 
much (he said) in poetry written for the intellect — 
as much of Browning's is, perhaps ; but in mine it's 
necessary to know how to sound it properly.' 

I suggested that he might put on record a code for 
pronouncing his own poetry, with symbolised examples, 
and he seemed to think this might be done. 

After tea he turned over the leaves of the new 
volume, I looking over his arm. Put last now (it was 
first) is a Sonnet against raking together and publishing 
the fragments of a deceased Poet. This is to ' swamp 
the Poets with themselves ' (a favourite turn of phrase 
with T.) Then he turned to a longish poem called 
' The Flight ' and said, ' This was written fifty years ago.' 
I asked him to read it : he said ' Oh, it isn't worth 
reading ' — but he read it. It is not very notable among 
his varied riches, but simpler and more straightforward 
in style than some of his later pieces. I said I liked 
it, and he said he was glad of that. (I had read 
' Vastness ' in Macmillan s Magazine without any sense 
of gain.) 

Saturday^ November 7. — Aldworth, 8.15 — misty. 
Walked with T. down the lane to Lythe Hill and back. 
I asked him what he had seen of Gordon. Saw him 
once only : he came to luncheon one day to T.'s, in 
London. He was shy and rather silent, but he had a 
pleasant look. 

W. A. — ' Have you read Gordon's Journals ? ' 

1885 ALDWORTH 345 

T. — 'No. The Queen told me I ought to read 

W. A. — ' You ought hideed.' Then I rapidly but 
at some length gave him a sketch of the contents of 
that curious book, and of Gordon's character — man of 
great powers, immense wilfulness, whence followed a 
great catastrophe. T. listened much more patiently 
than I expected, and laughed at G.'s entry — ' I am 
insubordinate, incorrigible ; if I were my own superior 
I would certainly never employ myself ! ' 

He told a droll thing about Lord F. at a Farmers' 
Dinner at Exeter the other day. Speaking to some 
toast, his Lordship had occasion to name one of the 
most important farmers present, and alluded with 
sympathy to ' a recent family affliction ' which had 
befallen him — the man's wife having died a short time 
before. The farmer, having to speak by and by, 
thanked his Lordship very kindly for the way he had 
spoken of him, but ' as for my old woman (he went 
on) she were a teasy twoad, and the Lord's welcome to 

We talked of Rabelais. T. made Hght of his 
stercoraceous qualities, and said he used to read him 
aloud at Cambridge to some of his friends and they 
all nearly tumbled off their chairs with laughing. The 
foulness was but a mask to hide his free-thinking. But, 
I said, he evidently enjoyed it, revelled in it. 

Friday, November 13. — Hallam met Helen yesterday 
at Haslemere and invited us to come to luncheon to-day. 
We found T. just untying the dogs for his morning 
walk. He proposed to take Helen and me to an old 
ruinous cottage, Dickhurst, he had often told us of, 
and thought H. might like to paint. So we three went 
down the new road, a few apples still in the orchard, 
out by the lower gate, and a mile or so along the roads 
of the Sussex Weald ; a fine day, though with some 
mist, and the half-bare copses and hedges still rich with 
their tarnished-gold russet. 

346 ALDWORTH 1885 

T. said he never was in an oak country in Spring till 
last year and was astonished at the colours. A highish 
field gate was locked, and T. climbed over — then trudg- 
ing through a swampy field we came to the deserted 
half- ruinous cottage, with long slope of tiled roof, 
broken windows and empty barns. H. made a pencil 
sketch, and T. and I went on farther, but could not 
get through the copse. Hallam appeared with a pony- 
carriage and drove off Helen and his cousin Mrs. 
Pope. T, and I walked back. He spoke of the 
Lincolnshire farmers of his early days, and what ' beasts ' 
they were. 

I said : * You ought to be more tolerant to poor 
Paddy — he has better manners at least.' 

T. — ' I count Paddy a child. But his mutilation 
of animals is shocking ; — worse than shooting men.' 

W. A. — ' I have heard it said that in Catholic countries 
there is less humanity towards animals than in Protestant: 
Catholicism teaches that animals are created solely for 
man's use.' We spoke of the cruelties of the Inquisition. 
T. said, ' A Catholic priest said to me, all those were 
political, not ecclesiastical.' 

W. A. — ' That takes away the sole possible excuse 
for them, namely that they were done in defence of the 
one true Faith and to save souls from perdition.' We 
then went back to Irish and Keltic peoples in general. I 
said, ' Perhaps England owes most of its finer qualities, its 
poetry, music, and art, to the Ancient British elements.' 

T. said, but not very confidently, ' I doubt that.' 

[About this time, Allingham notes : — ] 

Savoy. Mikado — pretty dresses — music skilful, har- 
monious, and agreeable — not an atom of melodic 
invention. S.'s only way of getting at the semblance 
of a tune is to set words with a very marked rhythm, 
and by dint of time-beat and harmonisation to give a 
sort of impression of an air — but 'tis a mere bubble. 
In ' Yum- Yum ' (and elsewhere) the phrase is old and 

1886 WITLEY 



Have entirely neglected diary from December 1885 till 
to-day, February 1 6th ! A variable cold winter — all kinds 
of weather in a week. But is anything disagreeable as 
we look back save one's own faults and mistakes ? 

We sometimes call in at the Evans's on a Sunday. 

Sonny and I often walk to Godalming. 

Helen dihgent at her Cottages. 

I finish the twelve Flower Sonnets in Athenaum. 

Rhyme book.^ Harry Furniss's two drawings. 
Iu-Kiao-Li{- etc. 

March 10. — Gladstone cooking his Irish Stew. 

March 19. — To London. Japanese Exhibition, etc. 

March 2 1 . — The Grange. Georgie truly friendly : 
Margaret in flowery flowing robe : Phil (with keen chin 
and bright eyes) : Ned comes in. 

April 25. — G. and E. to church v/ith Elizabeth. 
G. said ' I read all the " I beli'^ves " and I didn't believe 
any of them.' Thev said 'church was nice.' 'Would 
they like to go every Sunday ? ' ' O no.' 

July 9. — Diary not touched for more than two 
months. Mrs. Paterson at Sandhills. Visits of Carrie, 
of Arthur, of Basil and Clara Martineau. 

July 31. — To Busbridge. Hungarian Band. Mr. 
Ramsden, Mr. Stone, Mr. Molyneux, etc. To Miss 
Jekyll's — round her garden (I always like to be with 
Miss Jekyll). Her studio, and forge. 

Tuesday, August 3. — Miss having frequently 

failed to come on the appointed days to teach . the 
children, we bring the arrangement to an end, and I 
intend to take up the teaching for the present. 

^ Rhymes for the Young Folk (Cassells) : illustrations by Kate Greenaway, 
Harry Furniss, C. Paterson (now Mrs. Sutton Sharpe), and H. Allingham, 
engraved and printed by Edmund Evans. (Now out of print.) 

2 A Chinese novel, much praised by Carlyle. The only English translation 
oi lu-Kiao-Li is ' from the French version of M. Abel Remusat,' and was pub- 
lished in 1827 : it is now out of print. Allingham urged several publishers 
to bring out a new edition of the book (for which he wrote a preface), but 
without success. A copy of this rare book is in Mrs. Allingham's possession. 

348 WITLEY 1886 

August 7. — Mrs. Tom Taylor and Wycliffe come — 
Saturday to Monday. Gerald and I at station — fine day. 
Gathering gooseberries, Wycliffe, Henny, and I ; Mrs. 
T. and H. on seat at top of field. Luncheon, Mary Carlyle 
suddenly appears, very welcome : ' busy over proofs of 
new edition of Reminiscences — tired, and thought she'd 
run down on chance.' We all drive off for Hindhead. 
Evanses and K. G. — echo — Devil's Punch Bowl. 

Mrs. Colvin going to help nurse Mrs. Moorey [of 
Redland's Farm, Sandhills.] Death of Mrs. Moorey. 
They kept the body a week — put on a shroud made by 
herself before she was married. 

H. and I met Mrs. M. a couple of evenings before 
her fit, when she spoke of the beauty of Sandhills. 

Tuesday, August i o. — Times obituary this morning — 
' We have to record the death of Sir Samuel Ferguson, 
Q.C., LL.D., Deputy Keeper of the Public Records in 
Ireland ' — at Bray, yesterday. They go on : ' had been 
for some years a Vice-President of the Royal Irish 
Academy ' (a Vice-President !) Not one word or hint of 
his poetry or other writings. Truly, the union between 
England and Ireland is not made of flesh and blood, 
but of the harsh material of politics and economics ; and 
only when this bond drags and irritates does the larger 
island think of the lesser. No thrills of national sym- 
pathy run through the connecting tie. Even as a 
subject of intellectual interest or curiosity Ireland has a 
very small share of England's attention. The songs, 
stories, and plays on Irish subjects, written to amuse 
England, have had their success, but no more of the 
kind are wanted, and no other kind is marketable. 

Ireland herself is too poor and unsettled, and in too 
backward a stage of civilisation to afford a public for 
literature, unconnected with party controversies. On 
the whole — whatever may be unthinkingly said to the 
contrary, Ireland presents an ungrateful soil for the 
cultivation of the higher belles lettres. No London paper 
speaks of Ferguson as a Man of Letters. 

1886 WITLEY 349 

August 22. — Our Wedding Day — twelve years ago. 
Bless my dear wife and children. 

August 25. — Lucy Toulmin Smith, meet her at train. 
Garden — grammar, British Museum, Petrie's music, 

August 27. — Tc Aldworth. Tennyson on lawn with 
Dr. Grailey Hewitt, who has taken a house down here. 

Ghosts — T. said, ' My grandfather, one night sit- 
ing up late reading, at College, looked up and saw, 
close to him, the ugliest old woman he ever saw in his 
life ; and he also saw his cap and gown, which were 
hanging on the wall, going round and round the room. 
He shut up his book and said, *' I'd better not read 
any more for the present." ' 

Tennyson looked very fine to-day, grandly simple, 
gently dignified : the marks round his mouth soft in 
expression as dimples. 

Friday, September 3. — Gathering plums and green- 
gages — warm again. To Godalming with H. and 
three children, to Wild Beast Show. Camels on grass. 
Lions, African elephant fanning herself with her ears. 

Monkeys, etc. : Irish giant, and ' Missing Link,' 2d. 

Nothing entered till October 12. In September I 
went to London for the day. Called at Quaritch's to see 
the Blake facsimiles : some talk with Q. He said ' I 
never look at pictures, except on vellum. I have as large 
a collection of these as any bookseller, perhaps. I know 
nothing about picture exhibitions : my business is with 
books and I keep my mind fixed upon that.' By and 
by I referred to a passage in some book and said ' you 
remember that, of course ' ; to which he replied with 
brevity and emphasis ' I never read books.' 

The Old Book Trade is his subject, and he is said to 
be master of it. I ordered ' Songs of Experience.' He 
was interested in talking about Evans, a printseller in 
Great Queen Street, who had a large collection of Blake 
drawings, which Rossetti and I looked over. ' That 

350 ALDWORTH 1886 

must have been twenty-nine years ago, at the least,' 
says Quaritch — and so it was. 

October 29. — To Aid worth. Hallam. Show him 
letter from Miss Barnes about her father's death. 

T. tells the story of a Dog, lost in St. Petersburg, 
finding its way to its master in the country. Also of a 
Bastile Prisoner and his lark. It had lived with him in 
prison ; when he was set free he took the cage out to 
the fields, and opened the door — the lark hopped out, 
flew up into the air singing — suddenly stopt, and fell 
dead at the man's feet. 

[Another day] Tennyson said, ' No man can really 
feel the poetry of any language but his own.' 

W. A. — Clough told me he could not dissociate 
Greek Poetry from grammar and ' grinding.' 

T. — ' I never appreciated Horace till I was forty.' 

November 24. — To Aldworth. Tennyson spoke 
gloomily (as usual) about the future of England — war, 
etc, I said, ' We could escape from nearly all chance 
of War by a bold and honest step.' 

' How .^ ' asked T. 

' Step out of India.' 

T. — ' That would be ruin.' 

W. A. — ' Not at all. Bind Australia and Canada 
to you — your own people : India you never can.' 

T. — ' We are doing everything possible for them in 
India, and they roar and rage against us.' 

W. A. — ' Just so, and will be your destruction at 

I tell him I have written a ballad on the ' Banshee.' 

T. — ' I intend to write one. I have always been 
much struck with the " Banshee." ' 

W. A. — ' I must take care to get out before you ! ' 

Christmas Day, sunshine, 89° in the sun. 

Monday^ December 27. — Thick snow, dazzling. 
Trees broken, laurels bowed to the ground. Our 
children shovelling in the garden. Snow man. 

Friday^ 31st. — Snow — frost. Bells of Chiddingfold. 



January i. — Frost and snow. New Year's gifts. 

January 4. — Pure white world, dun mist and soft 
snow. People look like blackamoors. Read Faust to 
H. Letter from Henry Irving with Box for Faust. 
Pension received.^ 

January 5. — Thaw — slush. Read Gulliver in the 

January 17. — H., G., E. and I to pond. I put 
skates on after at least seventeen years — clumsy. 

February i. — Snowdrops, polyanthuses. 

Saturday^ February 5. — Out after dinner — bright 
stars — half-moon — frost in the morning. Aconite in 
flower, hazels hung with green catkins. 

Monday^ February 21. — Evey's birthday — H. and 
I with the three children into copse below Moorey's, 
and find a few small primroses. Tea, cake, games, 

H. busy over the Bond Street Exhibition drawings. 

Saturday^ March 5. — Revising Poems all through. 

April 3. — Very fine and vernal. In garden, pruning. 

Monday, April 11. — Easter Monday — Fine, G., E. 
and I walk ; Toll House, field -lane, some prim- 
roses. Bank studded with wood-anemones, primroses, 

Dream : I went down the street holding in my left 

1 Allingham's Pension had been raised to ;Cioo a year. 

352 LONDON 1887 

hand, by a red silken rope, five gold bells beautifully 
chased and carved, and, stroking them with my right 
hand, brought out delicious music ; and felt heavenly 
happiness. Then I woke — with a face-ache ! — as I had 
gone to sleep with it. 

Was it in a cessation of pain that the lovely dream 
appeared .'' A pause of pain sometimes makes posi- 
tive pleasure. 

Friday^ April 22. — After midnight went into garden 
— feeling rather depressed. Sprinkle of rain. 

Hear first nightingale down in copse — feel cheered. 

Monday, April 25. — Helen and I to London with 
cargo of drawings for her Exhibition. Drove to Bond 
Street, settling frames, etc. 

In the evening to Old Swan House, and were kindly 
received by Mr. and Mrs. Wickham Flower. Beautiful 
house. Reading and looking at books till 12. About 
6 A.M. I peeped out, saw the morning sun on the river 
just under our windows, and a little tug drawing two 
barges along ; on opposite shore the lawns and low trees 
of Battersea Park. 

April 27. — Old Swan House. I visit Carlyle statue. 
Mrs. De Morgan (sweet-looking old lady) and Mary. 
' Spiritualism — The Haslemere people whose fire is 
lighted by ghosts.' Wallace — the Carlyles — friendly 

April 29. — R. A. Private View. H. and K. Green- 
away, Brett (' didn't know K. G. was a real person '), 
Fildes, Mrs. Stephens, etc. Albert Moore (dines with 
me at Liberal Club). 

April 30. — Old Swan House. Pack up. Private 
View, Grosvenor — Hennessy, Holman Hunt, Browning: 
he tells story of Fontenelle — ' miserly noble dropt alms 
into the bag ; being asked again, said " I gave." " I 
believe it," said the applicant, " though I didn't see 
it." " And I," whispered Fontenelle, " saw it, but 
don't believe it." ' 

May I. — 3 Eldon Road, Hampstead. The Russell 

1887 LONDON 353 

Scotts call. To Gayton Road, Mrs. Paterson, Arthur, 
Carrie. With Clara and H. to Kate Greenaway's new 
house, Frognal ; pleasant large studio. Her original 
drawings much prettier than the reproductions. 

May 2. — H. and I call on Huxleys — tea, pleasant 
talk — at Marks's. Alma Tadema's new house, Grove 
End Road — Mrs. Tadema friendly. The studio like a 
Byzantine church. Mrs. T.'s studio built and furnished 
like an old Netherlandish room. 

May 5. — Dine at Mr. Walter Besant's. Mr. B. 
thinks the Cloister and the Hearth the best historical 
novel in the world. He thinks a novelist can't be a 
dramatist. (But in France 'tis otherwise : e.g. V. Hugo, 
Dumas fils, and others.) 

Friday., May 6. — Eldon Road, Dr. Martineau comes 
to luncheon (82) — tall, thin, courteous, deliberate. 
Curiously modelled, deep-lined face ; close-shaven ; hair 
still bushy in effect, though thinned. He speaks with 
invariable readiness and gentle precision. ' Metaphysical 
Society, so called — -was there any result from it } ' 

' Only in this way — it drew men together and made 
them judge each other and each other's opinions more 
fairly. I believe it modified Huxley's views, and 
perhaps Tyndall's.' 

Comte : Dr. Martineau admires his classification of 
the Sciences. Fisk — Frederic Harrison. 

All this time he was sitting to Clara, who is at work 
on a third life-size portrait of him, head and shoulders. 
After an hour he took out his watch, and soon departed, 
in a shower of rain. Said he should be ' most happy 
to have the honour ' of proposing me at the Athenaeum 
Club, if I thought of becoming a candidate, unless, I 
' should select some fitter person.' 

Dr. Martineau spoke much of Gladstone — met him 
at dinner at Tennyson's, in London (about two years 
ago?) The lady beside Dr. Martineau asking his opinion 
on Irish affairs. Dr. M. said he thought Ireland of late 
had rather been petted than oppressed. Gladstone 

2 A 

354 WITLEY 1887 

overheard this, and asked the Doctor to explain. 
Martineau thought that wherever any legislative 
difference was made between England and Ireland, it 
was in favour of Ireland. 

On this Gladstone took up the cudgels : ' but (said 
M.) I soon drew out of the discussion, and left my 
side of it in the hands of some politicians who were 
present. A day or two after I was with Tennyson ; 
he said, " Gladstone didn't like what you said about 
Ireland." " No — but it's true." " That's why he 
didn't like it," said Tennyson. The present Bishop 
of St. Andrews, Wordsworth, was tutor to Gladstone : 
he told me he was one day congratulating old Mr. 
Gladstone on his son's success at college : the old 
man replied, with a serious look, " I have no doubt of 
William's ability : I wish I were equally sure of his 
stability." ' 

May 1 1 . — Sandhills. Henny's Birthday. Sweet 
happy little boy — five years old. 

Sunday^ June 5. — Fine, cool wind. H. and I drive, 
by invitation, to Manor House, Haslemere, which we 
reach about 4.15. Miss Wolseley receives us, then 
Lady Wolseley comes, lively, pretty, and pleasant. 
Soon after the General, in gray jacket, corduroy 
breeches (with flap), black riding-boots and spurs ; a 
light figure, about five feet seven in stature ; bright, 
almost boyish face of roundish shape, with small ashen- 
coloured moustache, the forehead full and smooth, the 
hair close-cut, of a steel gray. With easy friendly 
smile he shook hands and began to talk, without accent 
of any sort, but certain turns of phrase as well as his 
whole manner unmistakably Irish. After a little H. 
went off with Lady and Miss W., and I had the honour 
of half or three-quarters of an hour's conversation 
with the famous man, winding on without the least 
trouble from one turn to another. He was interested to 
hear of Banacle ^ as a semaphore station in bygone days. 

* Banacle Hill, near Witley. 

,887 WITLEY 355 

' The semaphore remained in the Admiralty till not 
long ago.' 

I said some one had lately told me that there was 
still some use of it. 

' O no,' said Lord W., ' you might as well think 
of using bows and arrows in war.' 

Somebody, I remarked, did recommend going back 
to bows and arrows. 

' O yes, there are people who think the world is 
going to the bad every day — a friend of mine thinks 
England has been ruined by railways ; he can't even 
get anything fit to eat nowadays, — -" do you call this 
stuflF mutton ! " — and so on.' 

Painting — Lord Wolseley said he was very fond of 
it : ' If I had my time to myself it would be a toss-up 
whether I should turn to water-colours or to writing.' 

The Life of Marlborough : ' Yes — I'm not at work 
upon it, but I have done something now and again these 
many years. I don't want to write about his campaigns 
— that has been done sufficiently, and by competent 
hands — but about the man himself.' 

' You can perhaps brush away some of the dirt that 
has been thrown upon his name } ' 

' Certainly : judging him by the standard of the 
time, I find no foundation for the charges made against 
him by bitter enemies.' 

* Thackeray's hard sayings in Esmond and elsewhere, 
" His Grace would rob a private soldier of his pay," — 
any truth in this .? ' 

' Not a bit. Marlborough did exactly what was 
usual ; the system was a bad one, but the outcry against 
Marlborough was made solely for party purposes, and 
when Ormonde succeeded him, Ormonde did just the 
same. Macaulay's style enchanted me in my youth, it 
was like music ; but his statements are not to be trusted 
in the least. Marlborough, at the age of fifty-four, was 
a poor man, and in the next ten years he grew very 
rich, there's no doubt about that. The truth is, it is 

356 WITLEY 1887 

very hard to get any idea of what Marlborough was 
personally : we know he was handsome, and that's about 
all. I have read great quantities of his letters and 

* Have they much individuality ? ' 
' Little or none.' 

We came back to drawing. Lord Wolseley spoke 
of the sketches he made in various parts of the world, 
how they brought back all the minute circumstances in 
which each was done ; most of them were burnt in 
the fire at the Pantechnicon — also his books. After 
the fire things were put in a chapel close by, and 
people allowed to pick out what belonged to them. 
Lord W. picked up a bronze of his, has it now, bruised 
and marked with fire. ' I'm sorry I didn't take some 
of my books — they were lying in a pulpy state, injured 
chiefly by water — but I left them there. I had to pay 
the Pantechnicon too for taking care of my things ! 
We protested against this, but the law so decided. 
Whenever I come near books I am attracted to them, 
and am ready to lose myself in them. I am very fond 
of my own books : I hate lending them — I tell people 
so plainly.' 

Lady W. and her daughter returned with Helen, 
and we all had tea. Lord W. complained jocularly of 
the scanty supply of bread-and-butter, rang the bell, and 
said to the footman in prompt military manner ' More 
bread-and-butter. ' 

Lady W. — ' We are not usually so ill-supplied. 
That tremendous young person {i.e. Miss W., a large, 
pleasant young lady of fifteen, as tall as her father) is 
not fed upon air.' Then they talked of the amusing 
parsimony in small things at a certain country house 
in Surrey (an Earl's) — only a shovelful of coals, for 

instance, in the bed-room coal-scuttles. Col. 

staying there, in cold weather, went into several empty 
bed-rooms near his and carried off all their coals in his 
own scuttle. Sometimes this comes from old habits. 

,887 WITLEY 357 

Lord W. spoke of a man he knew, very rich and not 
at all miserly, but who had been very poor in early life 
and accustomed to practise strict economy : ' I know 
how absurd it is,' he often said, ' but I can't bear to 
throw away even an old tooth-brush ! ' 

After tea we were shown some beautifully bound 
books (Lord W. let one drop — ' O Garnet ! ') — several 
done by Mr. Cobden Sanderson. 

While talking of Marlborough, I asked whether any 
of the present people (they were Spencers till lately, 
but descend from Marlborough's daughter) had the least 
physical likeness to the great Duke ? Lord W. said no. 
I remarked that race did not necessarily carry likeness 
with it. 

Lord W. — ' But likeness crops up amazingly. Some 
years ago I was in Brussels, at the King's, and an 
Austrian grand-duke was there also, who was exactly 
like a portrait three hundred years old which hung 
in the palace, representing his ancestor.' 

We all four went into the old-fashioned garden, 
Lord W. with large, soft but high-crowned gray hat, 
thrown loosely on to one side, handkerchief hanging 
half out of his breast-pocket, corduroy breeches, bright 
eyes and merry face, seeming as if he wanted only a 
shillelagh to enable him to present, if so inclined, a 
genteel version of the typical Paddy. Not that there 
is the least touch of burlesque or absurdity about 

We spoke of Tennyson, and our thinking of visiting 
Aldworth this week. 

Lord W. — ' Queer old chap ! ' — admires his poetry, 
but thinks it ' effeminate.' (If I have the chance I must 
try to sift Lord W.'s notions on poetry.) 

I must not forget that at tea Lord W. said in his 
usual easy cheerful way that it was a great modern 
absurdity to value human life too highly — people had 
made idols of first one thing and then another, and now 
their idol was human life. 

358 WITLEY 1887 

I said, ' surely the notion of the mystic sacredness of 
human life is very old, there's Cain and Abel.' 

Lord W. allowed this instance, but with a twinkle 
of the eye went on : ' but look at the Lord God, how 
he slew thousands upon thousands, smote them hip and 
thigh.' Helen put in, ' That was a long time ago,' 
and we all smiled. 

I said a man I knew, Dr. Bodichon of Algiers, had a 
serious theory for improving the world in the shortest 
possible time, by the painless extinction of all useless 
human beings. He would have juries, including a large 
proportion of men of science, to decide on the fitness 
of this person or that to live. 

Lord W. — * I entirely agree with your Algerian 
friend. I would have supplies of chloroform for gaols 
and hospitals, for cripples and so forth, and the world 
would be debarrasse of much trouble and expense.' 

I argued that this would lead to many abuses, and that 
the general level of morality would be lowered. But 
Lord W. maintained that we have nowadays an absurd 
and superstitious respect for human life, and seemed 
to mean it. To lighten off the discussion I repeated 
to Lady W. what Madame Bodichon said to me in the 
midst of one of her husband's discourses on scientific 
homicide, — ' he wouldn't himself drown a kitten ! ' 

While H. went in with the ladies for her parasol 
before starting. Lord W. and I stood at the old porch 
looking at a nest of bees among the ivy ; then he pointed 
at Lady W.'s pug. ' There's an absurd creature ! it has 
a tail and it's alive, that's all you can say. I'm fond of 
dogs, but such a thing as that is good for no purpose.' 

' Pugs would come under the chloroform act .'' ' I 

' Every one of 'em ! ' said he ; and then out came 
the ladies, and H. and I took leave, and walked home 
four miles through the beautiful green country, glad of 
an interesting visit. Clear, prompt, direct, cheerful, — 
gifted with physical and mental vivacity, in manners 

i8S7 LONDON 359 

simplicity itself, in conversation easy and quick, — such 
appeared to us the famous General to-day. 

He can walk in the country. Lady W. told us, much 
better than in London, where the hard pavements jar 
his wounded leg. 

Monday^ June 13. — Invitation from Lady Wolseley 
to see the Jubilee Procession from Lord W.'s window 
at the War Office. 

Tuesday^ June 21. — At Mary Carlyle's, Chalcot 
Gardens, Haverstock Hill. — Up at seven, breakfast at 
quarter to eight. H. and I walk away quietly over 
Primrose Hill and down Regent's Park, green, almost 
empty, in the fine summer's morning. As we emerge 
on the road a troop of the Life Guards passes. Port- 
land Place, Chinese Embassy, two Yellow Dragon flags 
and the Union Jack between them, lifted a little higher. 
Cavendish Sqr., Hanover Sqr., Piccadilly, — crowd, 
policemen make way for us across. Then St. James's 
Sqr. and Pall Mall, cross and to St. James's Park, where 
we find the back-way into the War Office, shaded with 
elder and other greenery. 

Lord Wolseley's room. — Mr. and Mrs. Frank HoU. 
Miss Violet Paget introduces herself to me, and we 
have much talk. She says I was the first person who 
presented her to the pubHc as authoress : ' I carried 
about your postcard in my pocket for many days ; I 
was younger then, I'm sorry to say, than I am now.' 
She thinks Painters generally talk better than Authors 
— I don't agree, nor does Mrs. Frank Holl. 

Clubs drest up. Junior Carlton opposite. Army and 
Navy (' my club,' says handsome man to his wife), copied 
from Library at Venice, marble tint ' caused by silica 

Claret cup and sweet cake. Band, also Ethiopian 
Serenaders. Sparse red lines of soldiery — police — 
officials cantering to and fro. Procession at last. 
Princesses in white, bowing like automatons. Prince of 
Wales, all gold and feathers ; German Crown Prince, 

36o WITLEY 1887 

tall, in white uniform. The cream horses, and the 
Queen (white-haired ?) Princess of Wales opposite — 
glittering river of liveries and trappings. Continuous 
hurrahs — Queen's carriage stops opposite War Office. 

Foreign Kings in covered carriages — long wait ; 
soldiers march off — all over ^ — No, here come the Indian 
Princes — some in livery-stables turn-out ; two han- 
soms — mismanagement somewhere. 

Lord Wolseley's room, part of an eighteenth-century 
dwelling-house, old mantelpiece. Pieces of armour on 
the walls, weapons, savage spears and shields, Egyptian 
flag, maps, books. 

Downstairs, rough people. H. and I by St. James's 
Park, past Westminster Abbey, disfigured with stands, 
and so to Waterloo station. Home about 5.30 — all 
well, glad to be back. Bonfires lighted about ten, on 
Hindhead, Blackdown, and at many points in the 
Weald. I go up hill with G. and E., and as far as 
Winkford gate — many fires, rockets, etc. Fire at 
Aldershot. Hindhead catches fire, and burns all night. 

Wednesday^ June 29. — Visitors. Miss Wolseley told 
us that Lady Wolseley and she, on 2 1 st, breakfasted at 
six o'clock in the morning and sat in the Abbey till 4 p.m., 
without any food but some bits of chocolate. Lady 
W. could not see the Queen on the dais, only in passing 
up the aisle. Both (Lady and Miss W.) were knocked 
up. Lord W. also knocked up — against a wall by his 
horse, at Gloster House, when going to call for the 
Duke of C, hurt his bad leg, believed it to be broken^ 
but rode to Buckingham Palace and in the Procession 
as per programme ; anxious about alighting at the 
Abbey — did alight, found his leg not broken and able to 
carry him to his seat. 

July 20. — Dine at Busbridge. Mr. and Mrs. 
Ramsden — Lady Galway, tall, in black. Catches my 
hand in both hers, thanking me for lines on her Brother. 
(' Farewell, dear Yorkshire Milnes,' etc.) 

July 22. — Miss M. Betham Edwards. G. and I 

,S87 WITLEY 361 

meet her at train. She republican and Home ruler. I 
drive her round by Brook, Lea, and Witley Village. 

Saturday, July 23. — Very fine and breezy. Miss 
B. Edwards on garden seat with children. Gerald and 
I to Portsmouth by 12.5 special — empty at first, then 
fills. Station — crowded street, tramcars, flags. We 
walk to Southsea Common — burnt up. Shingle, people, 
sparkling tide, boats, etc. Line of Fleet not distinct, but 
numbers of big ships at Spithead and along the Solent — 
masts and flags. Long wait, watching the people, girls 
and children, soldiers and sailors, bands, fruit-sellers, 
etc. etc. Salute, like taps on a huge drum, followed by 
rolling white smoke, which gradually drifts towards us. 
As time went on we saw Fleet better, but nothing of 
Royal Yachts. 

Return by back streets, dull. Station — crowd ; sit 
on board and eat ; no train for us till 8.8. Out again 
— Witley about 10 o'clock. 

Monday, July 25. — H. to train for her mother, 
with Henny; Evey and 1 wait at gate, pick laurel leaves. 

Friday, August 12. — Cooler, but not a drop of 
moisture (no dew even). H. drove to Manor House 
with Henny, picking up Mrs. Thompson and daughter; 
Gerald and I walked over, and found H. painting 
a corner of the lawn. To us came out Lord 
Wolseley, in riding -boots and breeches, bright and 
genial as usual, with his boyish smile and touch of 
Dublin way of speaking, careless and easy. He hugged 
Gerald, while asking him, ' How old are you, sir } ' and 
other questions. He looked at H.'s drawing, discussed 
pigments, etc. Said he should much like to ride over 
and call at Sandhills some day. Ran upstairs to fetch 
me The Reign of Queen Victoria, edited by Humphry 
Ward, but has only second volume, which I carry off. 
Lord W. walked with us as far as Grayswood 
Common. We talked of Carlyle and Mrs. Carlyle. 
He said, ' I only saw Carlyle once, and I was much 
interested.' H., G. and I walk home. 

362 WITLEY 1887 

Saturday^ August 13. — Fine, cooler. H. and I, with 
Evey, drive to Mrs. Simmons's garden party, Shotter 
Mill. George Craik and Dinah, Mr. and Mrs. Pratt, 
the Bucktons, two Miss Griffiths, etc. etc. Lawn-tennis, 

Deodar, under which George Eliot used to write. 
H. and I cross the road to small house, formerly Mrs. 
Gilchrist's, and where George Eliot stayed a while. 
Mrs. Clarke and two daughters the present tenants. 

Thursday y August 18. — H. to Manor House to paint. 
I with Gerald to fetch her home in pony-carriage. 
They all come to the gate and into the road bare-headed 
to see us off. I say, ' Looks as if we might be bound 
for Australia.' Lord W. says the low wheels are heavy 
to pull. — I lend him Garnett's Life of Carlyle. 

Friday^ August 19. — H. and I drive Toby to 
Thursley, with Mary Stewart, to call on Lowes 
Dickinson, find him with daughter at cross-roads going 
out to paint. Wheeler's Farm — (Toby in coach-house), 
view to back, sloping fields, church, etc. Talk, P. R. B. ; 
education doesn't alter character. Sons at Charterhouse, 
have done well at Cambridge. 

(L. D. a little like Hook, but with a sad and languid 
air in comparison, and dark eyes instead of gray-blue) 
— a friendly meeting ; drive home by Lea Park and 
Witley Village. 

August 20. — Arthur, H.'s brother from London — 
drives her, with Mary Stewart, to Chiddingfold. 
' Story written with Besant ' — Arthur's own novel. 

Sunday, August 21. — Arthur rides Toby to Hind- 
head Cross — goes with Mr. Colvin to Boro' Farm. 
Lowes Dickinson and two daughters come ; tea in 
garden ; friendly talk. 

Tuesday^ August 23. — Drive H. and Gerald to Boro' 
Farm, under Bodboro' Hill, past rifle-ground, moor, 
lane. Alfresco-ists under big ash, the Glovers, the 
Colvins, children. Miss Glover, in her brother's hat, 
sings The Wear'in the Green, also Spanish and Italian 
canzonettes, airily, easily, merrily — to Neapolitan Guitar 

,887 POYNTON 363 

decorated with a great bunch of various coloured ribbons ; 
asks me for a green one — we talk brogue. Swing on 
big ash-tree. Tea for children and Miss G. on grass. 
We in house (Humphry Ward's summer retreat). 
Choice engravings on wall. 

Proofs of Irish Songs dribbling in. 

August 30. — [To Mrs. Turner's, Barlow Fold, 
Poynton — British Association at Manchester.] Mr. 
Rollo Russell, fellow-guest, has come from Haslemere 
in same train. 

September i. — Reception Room at Owens College. 
Free Trade Hall, Sir H. Roscoe's address. Exhibition, 
Picture Galleries — Rossetti, Burne - Jones, Watts, 
Tadema, Walker, Mason, etc. etc. : H.'s ' Carlyle ' 
badly placed. 

September 6. — Poynton. H. and I in pony-cart to 
Prestbury, then she to white cottage on Macclesfield 
Road, where she puts up and paints. I into Prestbury, 
church and old chapel. In the street, one hen visible. 
Strange and beautiful little old house — knock. Young 
woman shows me into house — poor inside ; bed-room 
(her father's and her own) windows shut, bed-clothes 
only turned down a little on rising, and so left. Other 
half of house — ' Can I get in ? — will you ask ^ ' 

' Well, she's rather strange, you'd better ask her 

I knock — 'Who's that.? — well, you can come in.' 

I found a woman, not very old, but worn and wild 
looking : toothless, unkempt, no gown on, sitting by 
wretched fireplace, of which she began to complain — - 
' smoke, soot, rain through roof. Agent won't do 
anything —rent £^, taxes los. (other half the same). 

Her husband left her years ago — not a good man ; 
doesn't know is he living or dead — went to Westmore- 
land. Son a sailor — sent her £1 ^ month last year. 
Daughter married in London, — ' that's like her ' 
(coloured engraving on wall). 

' Don't people want to see the old house .' ' 

364 WITLEY 1887 

' Ay, they looks in — but you're the first this summer 
that's given me anything.' 

There she lives alone, not friends even with her next 
neighbours — capable of sharp words, doubtless. Poor 
woman — many a one sketches the outside of this 
beautiful ancient House when she is crouching by 
the dull fire within, thinking of — what ,? I went up 
the broken and almost dangerous stairs to the roof — the 
rooms were empty ; some dusty papers lay in a corner, 
one showing its title in bold print — Glad Tidings ; 
on the wall hung an old coat and waistcoat — her 
husband's ^ Outside, the sun shone on the pretty 
village street and its trees. I found a path to where 
Helen was painting ; settled plans, she to drive back. 
Then by path to station, and train to Manchester. Cab 
to Exchange, get in and see Madox Brown's Frescoes, 
which look well. Owens College about 5.30. 

Wednesday^ September 7. — Fine; garden — brook 
(wild angelica about 12 feet high), shady dark paths, 
bridge. H. painting apple-tree from field ; Mrs. 
Turner drives us to Bramhall, to call on Mr. and 
Mrs. Nevill — fine old timber mansion, on rising ground. 
We are shown round — plans, restorations, old wall 
paintings, Japanese work. 

Friday^ September 9. — Drive to Stockport station 
with Mrs. Turner — good-bye. 

Sunday, September i\. — Sandhills. Fine. Drive H. 
to Aldworth. Tennyson better — walk with him on 
lawn ; asks, ' were you edified ^ ' (at British Association). 
Lord Wolseley and daughter appear, having walked up 
from Manor House. 

T. — ' Is there a chair for the great Soldier ^ ' 

Lord W. speaks of the Nile — 'pretty flowers' — 
has brought home specimens of them ; doesn't know 
their names. 

' Saw the mummy unrolled of the Pharaoh, the 
friend of Moses — face unchanged.' 

T. asks, * Which Pharaoh was that .'' ' 

^".-i^^dyt-sAayn- ^«^ 

. Trcnx a iimter colour ptn~trait 

,887 ALDWORTH 365 

W. doesn't know, ' There were so many Rameses. 
Overflow of the Nile, threatening even the Museum 
at Boulac. I rather wished for a scarabaeus or two ; 
the Khedive said to me, " Go down to the Museum and 
take as many as you like ! " ' 

Hallam asks us to come to meet his Uncle Arthur. 

T, (to H.) — ' Didn't you begin a portrait of me 
once. Well you might perhaps try again sometime.' ^ 

Thursday^ September 15. — Start with H. for Aid- 
worth at noon in Toby-carriage, arrive about 1.15. 
Carriage passes us with Mr. Arthur Tennyson and wife. 
Luncheon. Arthur T. opposite me — hair bushy and still 
dark ? curiously like Alfred, but younger and slighter. 

Upstairs with Hallam and Arthur : they smoke. 
A.'s way of speaking thoroughly Tennysonian both in 
matter and manner — great love of natural beauty, 
naive and original opinions. Out with him and Mrs. 
Arthur, flower garden, walk, back-gate — to spring. 
Arthur praises warmly the beauty of Surrey, and of this 
place, but thinks a beautiful lonely place not best suited 
for some people to live in — is apt to make them dreamy 
and indolent. 

' Don't you find this effect from living in beautiful 
lonely scenery .'' ' 

'I have children to interest me.' 

' Ah, yes, that makes a difference. I have not been 
granted any children,' 

At the spring (where Lord Egmont has had several 
conspicuous trees cut down, leaving a woful blank) we 
saw the three grandchildren, Alfred, Charley, and 
Michael ; Alfred leaping his pony over bars. 

A, and I turn back. We agree in disliking flesh- 
food and in wishing we had been brought up vege- 
tarians. ' We found the flesh-board provided (he said), 
and got used to it without thinking.' 

1 The opportunity did not come till a year or two later, when Mrs. 
Aliingham painted the portrait in the Study at Farringford, a copy of 
which is given on the opposite page. 

366 WITLEY 1887 

We meet Alfred and Mrs. Arthur, and turn. 

We go up the close-wooded valley till turned back 
by rain. 

Arthur is a couple of inches shorter than Alfred, 
and much narrower in the shoulders. He walks much, 
he tells me. 

September 23. — To Dunrozel [Hindhead.] Countess 
Russell and daughter. Colonel and Mrs. Moncreiff. 
Talk with Colonel M. ' Indians — their way of moving 
— kind of leaping on their toes, five miles an hour ; 
good people and intelligent.' 

[On the 24th of this month the Allinghams went 
to Sandown for a holiday with their children, staying 
there until October 25.] 

Wednesday^ October 26. — Fine — Henny and I up 
common. Crowd of visitors — Lady Midleton and 
daughters and guests (seven in all), Mrs. Stewart 
Hodgson and Mrs. Freeman {nee Merivale), Miss 
Longman and married sister, Mr. and Mrs. Colvin, 
Mrs. Evans and Mrs. Cooper, Mrs. Hammond Jones. 
Drawings looked at. 

November. — Winter has come on us by a forced 
march. Trees red and yellow — now mostly bare. 
Wet, foggy, frosty weather, with a io.^ fine days 
patched in. London riotous and getting worse. H. 
at work on her drawings, I at proofs of Laurence 
Bloomjield, and trying to get Irish Songs^ etc. out. 
Binding not right, mistake in printing discovered, 
already tired of the book. 

Oar good nurse Elizabeth Haddon married on 
Tuesday, November 15, to Harry Cave (both of 
Naseby), brother to Alice Wisdom, the nurse.^ Day 
fine, children at Witley church, and Gerald signed the 
book by his own particular desire. After the lunch H. 
and I went in, and I said a few words. We saw them off. 

1 A little dispensary had been established at Sandhills by Lady Knuts- 
ford : and Mrs. Alice Wisdom, to whom she had given the necessary training, 
had been appointed by her as nurse : a great boon to the neighbourhood. 

,-887 WITLEY 367 

On frosty days the orange sunsets fine, Hindhead 
looking mountainous against them ; walks to Godal- 
ming, Park Lane, etc, — but often tedious. 

H. and I called on Leonard Huxley, assistant- 
master at Charterhouse. 

* Must boys have been confirmed ? ' 

L. H. — * I think so — they all must go " through the 
mill."' [The Allinghams had some idea of sending 
their son as a day-boy to Charterhouse.] 

To Mr. Buckton's. Mr. B. shows whistle of several 
degrees (nine) of shrillness : I can't hear the two 
shrillest, but I hear the third, which B. cannot hear. 
Helen hears No. i. 

November 23. — Indigestion continually, tedious 
nights. If I only knew for certain what to eat and 
drink ! 

Thursday^ November 24. — H., G., and I to Hasle- 
mere by 4.7 train and walk to Valewood by Mason's 
fields, farm, locked gate, old walnut. Three Counties' 
Bridge, Valewood ponds and hills impressive in the 
dusk. House — drawing-room, Mrs. Mangles, Dafi'arn, 
Mrs. DafFarn, Daphne. Chat, tea. 

Friday^ November 25. — Fine — some sunshine. H. 
and I by 12.45 ^° Haslemere and walk up Blackdown. 
Shooting heard. Beaters in lane, eating bread and 
cheese. H. lunches among the heather. Then stables, 
no one ; man cutting furze. Hallam hails us from 
upper window. His room — he smokes — chat. He 
and Audrey have just been at Cambridge to see 
CEdipus acted, and took Mary Anderson with them ; 
she drilled the young fellows — was surprised at the 
poorness of their legs ; thought that but for the great 
power of Sophocles the play would be intolerable ; 
was disgusted with the bloody eyes ; all thought them 

Then about four to Tennyson's room ; find him 
sitting at window in a red woollen cape, of fisherman's 
shape, reading. Contrary to reports — looking well 

368 ALDWORTH i88r 

and cheerful. He gives Helen The Brook^ illustrated ; 
asks if she will illustrate Locksley Hall for Macmillan, 
but she excuses herself — is out of practice, and does not 
know Lincolnshire. 

Tennyson praises the picturesqueness of the great 
fens, and the sun rising over the eastern sea. I say I can 
tell them the right man for kn scenery — Macbeth. 

T. says the drawings in the little book don't show 
the Brook he thought of — it was partly an abstract, but 
mainly from one in the country where he was born. 

' Have you seen Darwin s Life ? ' 

T. — 'No, I hate biographies.' 

Darwin — his dicta on religion — once cared for 
poetry, etc. 

T. was reading Elaine, a Play in five Acts, founded 
on his Idyll. He said, ' I am told this has been played 
for many nights in America. The language is partly 
mine, partly not. It came this morning from New 

' Have you got any money out of it .? ' 

* Money — no ! ' 

He went out on the lawn for his half-hour's after- 
noon walk, I with him. We talked of Darwin — of 
human nature — of the difficulties of the period of 
puberty and following years. He spoke with praise 
of Paul Janet. I hardly recollected about him. T. 
said, ' Why, I remember reading Paul Janet to you in 
the New Forest.' 

' The only tolerable view of this life,' he said, ' is as 
the vestibule to a better.' 

In parting Tennyson held my wife's hand and said, 
' I am very glad to have seen you again. Perhaps 
you'll never see me again till I'm dead.' Then tome — 
' Do you know what old Mrs. Procter said to me the 
other day ^ I said to her, " I'm seventy-eight and you're 
eighty-seven, and perhaps we shall never meet again till 
we're dead," and she answered, " You young fellows 
mustn't be insolent to your seniors ! " ' 

1887 WITLEY 369 

We walked away, agreeing that he appeared well 
and cheerful, and so down the lane in a misty moon- 
light and to Haslemere station. 

[About this time the Allinghams spent a pleasant 
evening at Mr. Jonathan Hutchinson's on Hindhead, 
when Mr. Hutchinson spoke of his deep debt of grati- 
tude to Carlyle for the influence of his teaching on his 
own early life. At the end of this year the following 
notes are written, undated, in the diary : — ] 

Have neglected my diary again for many weeks. 
See no particular good in keeping it up, yet feel uneasy 
when I don't. 

A lady called to look at this house, hearing we were 
thinking of leaving it. The house and surroundings 
seem pleasanter than ever now that parting draws on — 
but how help it ? We think of various places. It is 
horrid to feel one's roots tampered with. 

H. away for about a week (I loth, as usual, to let 
her go) to Birmingham, where she saw old Mrs. 
Phipson and various others, all over eighty and all still 
enjoying life, which speaks well for the air ; then she 
visited Hampstead, staying at Clara Martineau's ; and 
St. Albans, finding her dear old Grannie, though feeble, 
glad to see her and able to talk a little. Could not see 
her Aunt Louie — who has since died, after a shadowed 
life. H. describes Birmingham as wonderfully im- 
proved — fine Public Library and Picture Gallery, 
cheerful look in general ; the inhabitants are ambitious 
to make it a provincial capital. 

The winter, with some frosts, ran on quickly to 
Christmas and New Year — the children sending and 
receiving cards, putting up holly and ivy, etc. They 
had tea, separately, at Nursey's cottage, as they still 
call her. Went to a children's party at Mrs. Evans's. 

In 1887 (October) departed Mrs. George Craik, 
whom I first knew many years ago as Dinah Muloch. 
Helen has a grateful recollection of her and her 
husband's kindness in H.'s early London days. 

2 B 

370 WITLEY 1887 

The R. Catholic Archbishop of Armagh (Daniel 
M'Gettigan) departed in December. From Curate he 
was made ' Bishop of Raphoe ' and came to live at 
Ballyshannon, where I used to meet him often on 
friendly terms — a tall, handsome, portly man, with an 
engaging simplicity of manner and voice. He had a 
sweet brogue, and spoke the Irish language fluently. 
He lived a frugal, blameless life, diligent in his office, 
tranquil, simple, dignified, more like by far to one's 
notion of a ' primitive Bishop ' than any other prelate I 
have seen. I was perhaps the only Protestant in the 
place who, in intercourse with him, used the terms due 
in courtesy to his rank ; but he met nobody (as he 
knew very well) less likely to become a ' convert.' 

Other departures. 

Jenny Lind (November), good soul, with music in 
it as well as in her voice, whom I much longed to meet 
in private life, but never did. I saw her in Norma, 
Sonnambula, Lucia, Figlia del Reggimento. In a juvenile 
Universal Reformer mood I wrote and sent her a letter, 
urging her to leave the stage, as a profession unworthy 
her naively noble character. This was at Dublin. 

Old Miss Gillies (July) the water-colour painter ; 
in her earlier days a friend of various literary people, 
among others of the Howitts, when they lived at 

Dr. Quain (September), doctor and diner-out, ready 
to doctor literary people and artists for nothing, 
pleasant and talkative. Last time I saw him was at 
Emerson's lodging in Down Street, Piccadilly. 

Richard Jefferies (August) — I never saw him, but 
had much correspondence with him (then quite un- 
known) when I edited Fraser. I put in various pieces 
of his, as good as anything he afterwards wrote, but no 
one took any notice ; save indeed that Barbara L. S. B. 
was struck with the truth of his picture or photograph 
of women in the farming classes. 



January 1888. — Witley — More than half the first 
month of the New Year has already slipped away. 

Alternate frosts and thaws. Great fogs in London, 
etc., and greatish even here. Ice on Sweetwater Pond. 
Helen sitting out to paint whenever she possibly can. 

Hear good reports from Catherine, Jane, John also. 

One Wednesday Lady Wolseley called on us, also 
Mrs. Mangles and others. 

Mary Carlyle sends me Academy with notice of 
Irish Songs — well-meant, but ' cheeky ' and blundering. 
The writer (a law student T) wrote to me, begging a 
copy of the D.G.R. woodcut. 

Helen and I discuss Hampstead [with a view to 
going there to live]. Feel low and unsettled. 

February 8. — Mild and vernal — abundant snowdrops 
and violets — aconites too, and crocuses in bud. 

February 11. — H. and I to London, to Mr. Stewart 
Hodgson's, I South Audley Street ; dinner, drive to 
Lyceum — Winter s Tale ; Mary Anderson's grace 
and beauty, with a talcing naivete. (Must not Lady 
Hamilton have been something like her .^) Her voice 
sweet, enunciation deliberate ; no thrills, but all well 
studied and well done. 

Sunday^ April i. — A spring day. Walk with Helen 
and the children down lane — to Moorev's Gate, and 
into copse — bare trees, dark blue distances, fresh cool 


372 WITLEY 1888 

air, some sun, a few primrose tufts. Children out in 
garden after tea with great delight, at battle-dore, etc. 

May 10. — Dry but clouded, and distances dim. Mr. 
and Mrs. Forbes,^ with Edith and Waldo, by 12.50 
train. Garden, luncheon. Walk, Haslemere Lane, 
copse crowded with primroses, wood anemones, violets, 
Mrs. Forbes delighted. Nightingale sings. Home, 
tea — we talked of Emerson, Cabot's Life, etc. 

May 17. — On common. At home. Find Webb,"^ 
come over from Cranleigh. Together to Guildford. 
See Almshouses — which he likes. 

June 4. — To London. National Liberal Club. 
Terrace, and saw Prince of Wales unveil statue of Sir 
B. Frere (looked most appropriate when standing before 
the public in its white sheet). Princess and daughters, 
Old Duke of Cambridge, Archbishop of Canterbury, 
Lord Knutsford, Sir Richard Temple, etc. 

June 8. — Irish Exhibition. To Queen Anne's Lodge. 
James Knowles's house full of fine things. J. K., wife 
and daughter, Lucy Taylor, Lady Pollock, Helen. Tea. 
Portrait of Gladstone : Claude — Turner, etc. Urn (ashes 
and bits of bones). 

June 9. — To Whitley Stokes's ; W. S. cordial. 

To 40 Kensington Square. Sir John and Lady Simon. 
Dinner. Marcus Aurelius — Lady S. prefers ' that old- 
fashioned and despised book, the Bible.' Sir John agrees 
with me that it is desirable to inculcate morals without 
dogma. Ruskin : Simon attended him some years ago. 

Sunday^ June 10. — To 29 De Vere Gardens — Up- 
stairs, tapestry, bust of E. B. B., one of R. B. (young). 

Enter R. B., friendly and vigorous. He asked me, 
Did I often come up to town ? 

' Very seldom.' 

On which he remarked ( I think premeditatedly), that in 
his early life he had much secluded himself, and had often 
since regretted it. He sees that he lost much by it.^ 

1 Emerson's daughter. ^ Mr. Philip Webb the architect. 

3 This remark of Browning's chimed in with what was often in Ailing- 
ham's mind. Although fond of the country, he had keenly missed there 



Then he took up a book from the table, Oannes, an 
Ancient Myth^ as told by Berosiis^ by J. Garth Wilkinson. 

' Here's a thing has been sent to me ' — and read half 
a page or so (without spectacles, I noticed), to the 
purport that in remote times a creature, half man and 
half fish, came to a certain island, and taught the 
islanders various arts — his name was Oannes.' 

W. A. — 'It might be taken as a foreshadowing 
of Darwinism — the origin of man in an amphibious 

B, — ' Yes, altogether different from Wilkinson's 

W. A. — ' A gentleman whom the Vicar of Wake- 
field met was fond of quoting Berosus.' 

B. (smiling). — ' Ay, sir, the world is in its dotage.' 

Then we talked a little about Darwin, B. saying 
that, whatever his merits as investigator, his philosophy 
was of little or no importance. 

I told him of our neighbour Alfred Wallace, and 
how he had arrived, as it were, at the opposite goal from 
Darwin in what are called ' Supernatural questions ' ; D. 
at last believing almost nothing, W. almost anything ! 

Miss Rehan in Shrew — I praise her. B. going to 
meet her at lunch at Boughton's next Sunday. We 
talk of plays and actors. 

B. says — ' The acting of my four plays by pro- 
fessionals, unpaid^ for the Browning Society, is surely 
one of the greatest and most wonderful honours ever 
paid to a dramatic writer. People burning to have 
their plays produced — paying to have them produced ; 
if something even of Tennyson's is to be done you 
hear of the curtain's costing ^2000 ! and here in my 
case the actors play for love, and give every word of the 
longest parts, and the audience listen to the very end ! ' 

the intellectual life and interests of London. He had made the move to 
Witley chiefly on account of his wife and children — and never regretted it. 
But now that the education difficulty made another change desirable (for 
he wished to avoid boarding-schools if possible), his thoughts turned again 
towards London. 

374 LONDON 1888 

Miss Alma Murray, he maintains, is the most 
poetical actress now on the stage ; her Beatrice, in The 
Cenci^ thrilling ; at the end she appears, and is, 
exhausted and barely able to speak. Vezin as the 
wicked count, most admirable. 

B. reckons up the four Plays — In a Balcony^ The 
Blot in the 'Scutcheon^ Colombe^s Birthday, and they're 
going to do The Return of the Druses. 

' Charles Kean accepted Colombe's Birthday, but said 
he couldn't bring it out for two years, and I declined 
to hold it over so long. He wanted the name of the 
play altered to The Advocate ofCleves. " You've got the 
best part, Ellen," he said to his wife, " but the play 
must be called The Advocate of devest ' 

In quitting the subject B. said, ' the Theatre is a 
great force ; but its conditions need to be entirely 

W. A. — ' Would a subsidised Theatre be any good 
in England? ' 

B. — ' Not the least ! ' 

B. ate as usual a hearty dinner-luncheon, talking all 
the time — what a man ! 

B, — ' C. said many things that I mentally dissented 
from, and he said something about a certain lady 
(E. B. B. I knew this was) which was reported to me 
and made me, for a time, hold aloof from him altogether. 
But I feel towards him as John Forster did to Landor : 
Landor used sometimes to write most unreasonable 
and exasperating letters to Forster, and one day that I 
was with Forster and he had been talking of Landor 
almost with indignation, he suddenly exclaimed " If he 
were standing here before me — I'd hug the old man ! " 
— and so would I Carlyle.' 

In saying this B. hugged me closely with his broad 
chest and strong arms, and laughed merrily. The 
notion of his being seventy-six ! 

B. — ' He called one day at Warwick Crescent when 
I was out, and said from his carriage window to my 



sister, " I should like to see him once more." ' (I 
believe I was with C. in the carriage that day.) 

B. — ' The last time I went to Cheyne Row his niece 
said he was not speaking to any one, but I might go 
up and see him. He was lying on the sofa, wrapt 
in a shawl. I stooped over him and said a word 
or two, and he put his arm round my neck. That was 

In going away both B. and his sister asked me 
repeatedly and warmly to come soon again — any day 
I chose. 

Up through Kensington Gardens to Hyde Park, 
very fresh and green, and on to Zoological Gardens, 
where I saw a monkey with artificial flowers snatched 
from a hat, fourteen crocodiles, young kangaroo getting 
into mother's pouch, etc. 

As I sat in shady nook by the water-fowl, reading a 
newspaper, Mr. Stewart Hodgson accosted me, and 
we had some pleasant chat — he had heard we were going 
to leave Sandhills. 

Walk to Hampstead Road — train ; people with 
branches of hawthorn ; 1 8 Gay ton Road. 

Mrs. Paterson, and Carrie and H. — We take a look 
at Lested Lodge, garden tangled. — Walk to Adelaide 

Wrote to-day at Club a note to Miss Rehan, signed 
An old Playgoer, entreating her not to greet the audience 
after sweeping in round the stage in a passion on her 
first appearance in The Shrew. 

Monday^ June ii. — To 'Gaiety' and get four 
tickets. Show Helen the Club — with her to National 
Gallery, then to Stores and lunch. Mrs. Woolner 
a:costs me. To Lady Dorothy Nevill's — her curiosities, 
Walpole miniatures, Sussex fire-irons, etc., own portrait 
by Watts. Lady Warwick and daughter — pleasant — 
Dine at Gatti's, ' Gaiety' — Clara and Carrie waiting ; 
Upper boxes — Taming of the Shre-vu. Enjoved and 
admired Miss Rehan much. 

376 WITLEY 1888 

N.B. — She swept in round the stage and took no 
notice of the audience : Brava ! 

Tuesday, June 12. — Train — Witley 5.20 ; all well, 
much the better for my trip to London. 

June 17. — Sandhills. Walk by Park Lane and 
steep wood to Hindhead, touch Cross at 4 o'c/ock 
precisely ; two boys and a girl selling ginger-beer. Cold 

Hennessy and F. Pollock appear. To Tyndall's, 
meet Mrs. Clifford at door — in. 

Tyndall, Mrs. Tyndall, and her mother, mild and 
handsome. Friend (who came on bicycle from Albury) 
with pleasant out-of-door face. 

Apparent size of the moon — Tyndall said, 'Spedding 
said the full moon looked to him the size of a three- 
penny bit ; I told him it looked to me the size of 
a ; dinner plate, but he couldn't believe it. I was 
travelling from Vienna on a fine moonlight night with 
Hooker and Mrs. Hooker, and we said how large each 
of us thought the moon appeared to be, Mrs. Hooker 
said the size of sixpence. Hooker the size of half-a- 
crown, I the size of a dinner plate.' 

Tyndall took us to top of house, snuggery and large 
outside balcony or platform. I said as we stept oi;t, 
' This expands the soul.' 

He. — ' That's just what I feel — both here and in the 

He leaned back over the balcony rail while talking, 
in a rather dangerous looking way. Downstairs ar.d 
away. When at gate, saw close by, walking along the 
heath, two brown bears, with them five men, seemingly 
foreigners. Walk home, by Southern lane and copses 
— beautiful walk. 

June 23. — Waggonette to Hindhead — Helen and 
I with Mrs. Flight. I walk up steep wood — the 
Cross, schoolgirls running about. Distance misty. 
Drive to Mrs. Clifford's — friendly and pleasant. 

To Tyndall's — I introduce Mrs. Flight as widow 

i888 WITLEY 377 

of Dr. Flight ^ and cousin of Du Bois Reymond. 
' Walter Flight r Oh, I knew him intimately.' Speaks 
with interest to Mrs. F. — ' dear Du Bois ' — takes her and 
Helen to top of house. Away, T. comes to gate with 
us ; ' Dr. Martineau — we have exchanged some shrewd 
blows, but I don't think he hates me ! ' 

I walk home from Hindhead by Witley Park 
copses, lovely — but oaks stript by caterpillars. 

Weather turns cold and rainy. Ill and rather 
miserable for about a week. 

Going on with proofs of Flower Pieces, etc. 
July 5. — Hire pony from Luff, of King's Arms. 
Wet — wet — wet, with a gleam now and again : almost 

Without a sun or moon ! 

July, August, 
Many a raw gust. 

July 12. — Ride round by Sweetwater Pond — pick 
chantarelles. Have not had a ride for sixteen years ! 

Friday, July 13. — Ride Jenny to Aldworth. Party 
in flower garden, T,, Hallam, Miss Ritchie and friend. 
Tea, talk of Clifford— his mathematical paradoxes. 
Tennyson goes in with Miss Ritchie ' to read a new 
poem.' I ride home ; not stiff or tired — did me good. 

July — . — I saw the Duke of Argyll at railway station, 
and Hallam T., who asked us to come up to-day. We 
drove to Aldworth. I showed some chantarelles gathered 
in the lane, Duke knew them, handed them on to T., 
who sent them to cook with directions. ' Silos ' : farmers 
slow to take to them. 

T. tells of old Lincolnshire farmer near his father's. 

T. said to him one day civilly : ' Mr. why don't 

you mend your fences .^ ' The old fellow stooped down 
and tied his shoe carefully, then straightened himself and 
said, ' I've never mended a fence, and I never will ! ' 

1 Walter Flight, D.Sc.(Lond.), F.R.S., analytical chemist in British 
Museum. He had studied under Tyndall at Queenwood College. 

378 WITLEY 1888 

[Tennyson had a story of a Lincolnshire farmer who 
said, when he came out of church — ' burned for ever 
and for ever ! I can't beUeve that : no constitution 
could stand it ! '] 

Wednesday^ August 8. — Mrs Humphry Ward visits 
us, looks at drawings — asks us for Sunday week. 

Sunday^ August 19. — H. and I drive to Borough 
Farm, heather bloom. Tea-party at door, outside, Mrs. 
Humphry Ward, Mr. Ward, Miss Sellars (tall and 
beautiful), and Mr. Henry James. The Anglo-American 
Novelist had just arrived from London, and was going 
back by a late train. 

He described himself as an ' unmitigated Cockney,' 
was surprised at the colour of the heather, and hearing 
ling spoken of, asked to look at it. 

While we were at tea, a flock of sheep, herded by 
a long-limbed half-wild looking girl of fourteen, 
streamed down the green-sward track just in front of 
us, between an old weed-grown wall and some grassy 
knolls, with a great ash tree and two or three other 
trees : a picture. The pony, still in the shafts, grazed 
peaceably. 'Tis a beautiful wild place — much vext by 
the rifle-range close by. 

Saturday^ August 25. — Ride to Blackdown, in lane 
meet Tennyson carriage. He with Miss Boyle and 
Hallam, who says, ' we were going to you.^ I ride after 
them. Find Miss B. seated in our garden, T. wander- 
ing in the field. ' I wonder you can leave this place.' 

Take him in and show him some drawings, which 
he likes. 

' That's Carlyle — looking very grumpy.' 

Tea in garden. He admires the tall mullein. I bring 
up Emerson's comparison of Salisbury spire to the great 
mullein. T. grunted, and said * This doesn't taper.' 

I gave him a white rose, and said ' Perhaps the ladies 
would rather have jasmin.' 

T. — ' You called me Jasmin, once.' 

I said ' I don't think you were quite satisfied with it.' 

1888 ALD WORTH 379 

T. murmured something which I took to mean, ' No, 
— not satisfied with it.' 

I said jasmin grew on a cottage I lived in when a 
child, and it had most delightful associations in my 

While looking at a drawing with daffodils, T. said 
' Millais put daffodils along with wild -roses in his 
Ophelia picture. I pointed this out to him. He said 
he had painted the rose-bush from nature ; and some 
time after when he was finishing he wanted a bit of 
yellow and sent to Covent Garden and got the daffodils. 
I told him it was quite wrong.' 

I took T. part way up the path on our common to 
see the view and showed him his own hill ; ' this is a 
beautiful country,' he said. 

In shaking hands with me he said ' I don't think I 
shall do the " Banshee." You have done one } ' 

' Yes, and published it lately in a volume.' 

' I've not seen it. I'm so much obliged to you for 
not sending it to me — get heaps every day.' 

I said ' Oh, I promised long ago never to send you 

Miss Boyle and I laughed. 

September i. — To Aldworth, find Tennyson in 
garden, reading Times — 'going to station to meet 
Mary Anderson.' 

He tells of old Monsieur C, one hundred and two 
yesterday, how he eats and sleeps. 

In carriage with T., Hallam and Miss Boyle. 

I show him chantarelles gathered in the lane, he 
wishes to taste them. ' I have a fine taste in matters 
of cooking,' he remarked. His cook would not cook 
the ones I gave him before — ignored them. T. asks 
me to go and reason with the cook, which I decline, 
not having a personal acquaintance with her. Station — 
T. walks off towards the village, I with him. He tells 
me Miss A. is going to give The Cup in Birmingham 
and Dublin. Carriage overtakes us with the lovely 

38o WITLEY isss 

Mary in dark-blue cotton dress, her healthy brown 
complexion un-actress like — presented, and have a hand- 
shake and a smile, (They will discuss and try over The 
Cup.) Home. 

Monday^ September 3. — H. and I drive to Grays- 
wood — Mr, Pratten's house, Miss Swanwick comes out 
to hall door to welcome us ; room with fine prospect, 
east, over trees. Enter Mrs. Stewart Hodgson and 
Mrs. Forsyth, talk on literature, etc. 

Browning told Miss Swanwick he knew nothing 
about the Sonnets from the Portuguese till two or three 
years after his marriage, when his wife showed them to 
him. He said to her, ' If I consulted my personal 
wishes I should keep these all to myself, but as the 
guardian of your literary fame I must counsel you to 
publish them.' 

Monday, September 10. — I to Hampstead, to the 
Carlyles, 23 Rudall Crescent. 

Tuesday, September 1 1 . — Mrs. Paterson calls. Eldon 
House. Like it. 

Thursday, September 13. — Hampstead — telegram 
from H., ' Coming up by first train.' To Eldon House, 
which she takes to by degrees. Home. 

Friday, September 14. — Sandhills — fine ; ride pony. 
Lea Park, moor near Hammer Pond ; meet boys, one of 
whom lifts hand with switch in it to Jenny's nose. 
She starts violently, flings me oi¥" and kicks left arm — 
gallops off. Back and arm hurt.^ 

Tuesday, September 18. — Fine, common, H. painting. 
Splendid views of Hindhead and Weald ; harvesting. 
Country lovely. Miss Tynan sends me criticism from 
Providence Journal — 'The Poet of Ballyshannon.' 
(non-national, how sad !) 

Thursday, September 20. — Write to take my name o^ 
list of subscribers to Haslemere Commons Committee. 

Friday, October 26. — Gap of over a month in diary. 

1 Allingham was inclined to connect this accident with the illness which 
attacked him later. 

1888 WITLEY 381 

In London with H. (at B. Martineau's) for several 
days. Hampstead looks pleasant. 

Spell of fine October weather — expeditions with 
Gerald to Hog's Back, Merrow, East Clandon, to 
Selborne, Woolmer Forest, etc. 

Tennyson has had very severe attack of gout — a 
nurse — confined to his room. We were invited to tea, 
and a note from Hallam put us off. 

Heard he v/as better, then — a relapse. 

Saturday^ October 27. — Mrs. Graham Robertson and 
her son appear. They look round ; H. comes in from 
fir-wood. They drive round by Brook, return, and take 
the place [Sandhills], 

Thursday^ November i. — Rain or drizzle all day. 
H. drives with Gerald to visit Mrs. Ramsden, Miss 
Jekyll, Mrs. Longman ; home after dark. I writing, 
sharpening penknives ; dance with children. 

Friday^ November 2. — Reading Troilus and Cressida 
to H. Shakespeare's hand in it, but not his play : 
poor in some parts, loaded in others : a re-cooking of 
familiar matter, with Shakespeare sauce. 

Saturday^ November 3. — To Haslemere by train, 
walked up to Aldworth among the yellowing trees ; 
met Mrs. Tennyson driving F. Palgrave to the station. 

Up to study, and found T. leaning back on a chair, 
his legs on another, thin and pale ; he gave me his 
brown hand and said ' I'm glad to see you.' 

He had a book in his hand, and the light of two 
candles close by fell on the right side of his face, which 
showed striking and noble. He wore a black skull-cap, 
his long Don Quixote nose was sharply outlined, his 
moustache looked dark and full. By general impression 
one might have guessed him seventy rather than eightv. 
He said, ' I have been in the doctor's hands — been very 
ill — never had such a time of it in my life ! — gout and 
rheumatic fever.' 

Zola — his question ' How can a book corrupt } ' 

Martial — ' Leigh Hunt said a boy found out in vice 

382 HAMPSTEAD 1889 

might ask " Why did you put such books into my 
hands?" Are these books necessary for the learning 
of Latin ? ' 

Tennyson. — ' There might be purified editions.' 

November 19. — H. and I to London. I to consult 
Mr. G. Buckston Browne. He finds an enlarged gland, 
and indigestion. Am I henceforth an invalid } ah me ! 

November 30 to December 8. — H. paying many calls, 
people all kind and friendly. 

A beautiful dream : a garden with a pear-tree and 
an apple-tree, both in blossom : slope of sward and 
inexpressible happiness — (reminiscence of early child- 
hood). Glad that I can be thus happy even in a 

First year of Old Age, I fear ! Has the unwelcome 
guest really come at last, and to stay ^ We never 
realise beforehand what old means, or how the old itol. 

[It was not old age, for Allingham was not yet sixty- 
five : the feeling he speaks of was caused by the malady 
from which he was afterwards found to be suffering.] 

Sunday^ December 9. — Walk, Evey and I ; Park 
Lane, Banacle, golden sunset light ; Hindhead a blue 
jewel ; Venus, evening star ; long band of orange light 
along south. Feel rather better. 

Tuesday, December 11. — Good-bye to Sandhills, after 
seven and a half peaceful, on the whole happy, years. 
H. and children at 3 Eldon Road — I to 23 Rudall 
Crescent, Alick and Mary Carlyle, Tommy and 
Oliver. All very kind. Much talk about Carlyle — 
' a treat (Mary says) to have somebody to talk about 
him to.' 

Wednesday, December 19. — To Eldon House. Sleep 
there for the first time. 


January 3. — In the house since December 31 
(bronchitis seized me all at once). 

1889 EASTBOURNE 383 

January 12. — Take Gerald to University College 

January 20. — I call several times at Miss Eade's, 
Well Walk, for Henny and Evey about 12.30, we walk 
on Heath. 

February i. — To U. C. School Concert, 4. Gerald 
and I sit in front. 

March 14. — This book has not been opened since 
February 3. I have no wish to keep the diary of an 
invalid. I am sometimes better, often worse ; on the 
whole going down-hill in strength, and with fresh 
troubles coming on top of the others. Every day is a 
weary trial, and every night a worse one. 

I had a very curious dream whose floating imagery 
evades every cast of the net of language. I thought I 
found myself somehow, by merely looking aside, aware 
of some of the main secrets of Nature's material work- 
shop. There was no tinge of atheistic feeling. Merely, 
I saw a little below the superficial appearance of things, 
and found the methods by which forms are innumerably 
varied and sent on their courses to be so simple and 
obvious that I smiled at myself with a sort of impatience 
at not having seen all this before. A pleasurable 
satisfaction remained after I had awaked and said to 
myself ' This is the haschisch.' 

[Of another night he writes : — ] 

The curtain of darkness fell on my brain tor perhaps 
a couple of hours — too, too short ! I have not had a 
sound night's rest for ever so long. 


O Great One ! may my dear Wife and Children and 
myself not forget Thee — ever draw nigher to Thee ! 
May we keep our hearts pure ! 

[The illness increased. In April Allingham was 
told by Mr. Browne that there was serious internal 

384 HAMPSTEAD 1889 

trouble ; and it became so acute, early in June, that 
immediate operation was necessary. 

This saved his life for the moment, and brought 
some temporary relief: he gradually became able to 
take short walks around his house in Hampstead. 

He had been specially interested in tracing the 
different localities connected with Keats : and in his 
note-book is the following little poem.] 


Per contra 

(In a Hampstead Garden) 

' Thou wert not born for death, immortal Bird ! 
No hungry generations tread thee down ; ' 

Keats : Ode to a Nightingale. 

A Nightingale, upon a time, 

Here tried his tone : 
Here, too, a Poet made a rhyme : 

Bird — Poet — gone ! 

Trivial at best the Bird's gay song, 

{A shapeless trill : 
The Poet's rhyme will last as long 
As Hampstead Hill. 

"July 12, 1889. — The house and garden are still to be seen 
in John Street, Hampstead, on the left-hand as you go up from 
Hampstead Heath railway station. 

[In August AUingham went with his family to 
Eastbourne, and here he seemed at first to be a 
little better. During these weeks he would get up at 
four, sometimes even at three o'clock, to watch the 
sunrise, and the following, written at this time, is the 
last of his poems.] 

1889 HAMPSTEAD 385 


A Photograph 

Dim sea, dim sky, — a level streak or two, — 

A gradual flush in the chilly atmosphere, — 

What flames upon that eastern head ? The Sun ! 

A blazing point — a hemisphere — full orb — 

Laying a road of gold across the wave. 

Gilding wet glossy sands, green-swarded cliffs, 

Fresh-flowing tide-streams, far-off" sails, tower-clouds. 

Till wide-spread heaven, as lifts the Globe of Fire, 

Is fill'd with yellow light, and Day rules all. 

Two Shrimpers, black amid the radiancy. 

Pushing their nets along the ripple's verge. 

These are the only life ; our silent Town, 

With smokeless chimneys, glittering window-panes. 

Still sunk in torpor and fantastic dreams. 

Town after Town along this English coast. 

And down the shore of France, awakes in turn : 

Thousands of ships, unpausing day or night. 

Of every country bathed by the salt flood. 

Slide smooth between them, each upon its course, 

As rolling Earth on hers, and I on mine. 

And each on his of all my fellowmen. 

Wish Tower Hill, August lo, 1889, 
4.30-5 A.M. 

[The improvement in health was, alas, but for the 
time. After his return home on September 5, he slowly 
grew worse. Sometimes the trouble seemed almost too 
great to be borne : but, now and again, there were 
moments when he could detach himself from the present, 
as it were, and feel an interest, even write a little, about 
outside matters. 

For some time past he had been revising his poems 
for a final edition, of six volumes — most of which had, 
by now, appeared — also preparing his prose writings 
for press.] 

October 23. — I resume writing here after a long 

2 C 

386 HAMPSTEAD 1889 

Du Maurier has visited me often in the evening, 
and given me a pleasant hour's talk. He is better 
read, I imagine, in French than in English literature. 

One night he read to me from Les Femmes Savantes. 
He thinks the scene of the two Poets, Trissotin and 
Vadius, the funniest thing in Moliere. 

He has nearly finished a story, one volume size. 
The hero acquires a power of regulating and continu- 
ing his dreams. In Dreamland he often meets a lady 
whom he has fallen in love with. He discovers that she 
has similar dreams, and meets him in her Dreamland. 
At length they find themselves able to communicate 
with each other in Dreamland. She dies : he dies in 
a lunatic asylum, leaving behind this narrative, ' Edited 
by G. du M.' I strongly advise him to intersperse 
plenty of sketches up and down the pages, and to offer 
it first, tentatively, to Harper. 

I have had visits also from Harvey Orrinsmith : 
William Herford and his niece, Evelyn Herford : F. G. 
Stephens and his wife : Mr. Clayton — very agreeable 
and sympathetic man, lover of poetry and art. He 
began by recalling the time, nearly forty years ago, 
when he used to meet me at the P.R.B. evenings. Says 
he readily recollects my features and voice. Stephens 
and Mrs. S. came the same Sunday evening, and we had 
an harmonious tea-table in the dining-room. I read to 
them ' The Spinster's Sweet'arts,' and when done found 
that du M. had slipt silently into the room during the 

October 25. — Du M. came in about half-past six. 
We talked of his story. I cannot find that he himself 
has the least belief in the possibility, even the imagin- 
ative possibility, of the ground -motive of it. He 
regretted he could not now read Shakespeare, the time 
was past. Much-talked-of poets he looks into, as 
part of the social life of the day, and greatly admires 

He lives in an atmosphere of conventional London 

x889 HAMPSTEAD 387 

society and comic literature, mingled. Yet there is a 
deeper stratum in his mind than that which is amused 
and affected by these ; and he is an honourable fine- 
natured man, with various accomplishments — not speak- 
ing of his art genius — and great charm of manner. His 
descriptions of character, when it comes within his range, 
are keen and very neatly put. 

[This is the last entry in the diary. 

During the year, and especially in these last months, 
the intimate friendship of Mr. and Mrs. Alexander 
Carlyle was a constant help and comfort. 

Mr. Briton Riviere would often come in for a little 
quiet talk ; also many other old friends. 

The kindness and attention of his doctor, Mr. 
Buckston Browne, was untiring. 

Here a note, taken from among Allingham's memo- 
randa, seems to find a fitting place. 

' I care for my old diaries for the sake of the Past, 
the sad, sacred, happy Past, whose pains, fears, sorrows, 
have put on the calm of eternity, — mysterious Past, for 
ever gone, for ever real, whose footsteps I see on every 
page, invisible to other eyes ! ' 

In November fresh complications arose in his illness, 
and, with these, an ever-increasing weakness, although 
he kept his bed only for about a week. 

On Sunday the 17th it was evident that the end was 
very near. 

When asked if he had any requests to make, he 
said ' No, my mind is at rest ' : then to his wife 

'"And so, to where I wait, come gently on." 

' I thank you (to Mr. Buckston Browne) — I thank 
every one.' 

After this he lay in a kind of trance, and died peace- 
fully about two o'clock in the afternoon of the next 
day, November the i8th. 






Once that morning he said, ' I am seeing things that 
you know nothing of.' 

The cremation, which was by his special wish, took 
place at Woking. 

A few friends and relations only were present. 

There was no service : Mr. F. G. Stephens, the 
oldest of the friends there gathered together, read aloud 
Allingham's own Poet's Epitaph : — 

' Body to purifying flame, 
Soul to the Great Deep whence it came. 
Leaving a song on earth below, 
An urn of ashes white as snow.' 

The urn was buried in the churchyard at Bally- 

' No funeral gloom, my dears, when I am gone, 
Corpse-gazings, tears, black raiment, grave-yard grimness ; 
Think of me as withdrawn into the dimness, 
Yours still, you mine, remember all the best 
Of our past moments, and forget the rest ; 

And so, to where I wait, come gently on.'] 


Published in 

1850. Poems. Dedicated 'To Leigh Hunt, Esq.' (Chapman and Hall.) 

/ 1854 and 1855. T/ie Music Master^ alcove Story, and two series of Day 
'^ and Night Songs. With nine woodcuts, seven designed by 

Arthur Hughes, one by D. G. Rossetti, and one by John E. 
Millais, A.R.A. (Routledge and Co.) 

i860. Day and Night Songs ; anAThe Music Master. A Love Poem. With 
nine woodcuts (as above). 'This little volume comprises, along 
with the Day and Nig/it Songs of the writer, published in 1854, a 
second series of short poems, and a narrative composition. Some 
of these appeared in a volume published in 1850, and since with- 
drawn, some in periodicals ; others are now added, and all have 
been carefully revised. T/ie Music Master, in particular, is perhaps 
nearly entitled to be considered as a new poem' (from Preface). 
(Bell and Daldy.) 

^ i860. Nightingale Valley. A collection, including a great number of the 
choicest lyrics and short poems in the English language Edited 
by Giraldus. (Bell and Daldy.) 

1862. Reissue oi Nightingale Valley. A collection of choice lyrics and short 
poems. From the time of Shakespeare to the present day. Edited 
by William Allingham. (Bell and Daldy.) 

1864. Laurence Bloomfield in Ireland. A modern poem. This poem first 
appeared in Frasers Magazine, and is now presented much revised 
and partly rearranged (from Preface). (Macmillan and Co.) 

Fifty Modern Poems. 'ToA. F.' (Bell and Daldy.) 

A new issue of Laurence Bloomfield in Ireland ; or The New Land- 
lord. (Macmillan and Co.) 

The Ballad Book. A selection of the choicest British ballads. Edited 
by William Allingham. (Macmillan and Co.) 

Rambles by Patricius Walker. Dedicated 'To Mr. and Mrs. 
W. H. Forbes.' (Longmans, Green and Co.) 

Songs, Ballads, and Stories, including many now first collected, the 
rest revised and rearranged. (George Bell and Sons.) 

Ashby Manor. Dedicated 'To my Wife.* And E'vil May Day. 
Dedicated 'To my Children.' (Longmans, Green and Co.) 










Published in 

1884. Day and Night Songs. Dedicated ' To my Friends ' (a new edition). 
And Blackberries, picked oft' many bushes by D. PoUex and others : 
put in a basket by W. Allingham. (G. Philip and Son.) 

1886. Rhymes for the Young Folk. Dedicated 'To Gerald, Eva and Little 

Henry, and others like them.' With pictures by Helen Allingham, 
Kate Greenavvay, Caroline Paterson, and Harry Furniss. (Cassell 
and Co., Ltd.) 

1887. Irish Songs and Poems, with nine airs harmonised for voice and 

pianoforte. (Reeves and Turner.) 

1888. Floiver Pieces and Other Poems. Dedicated 'To Dante Gabriel 

Rossetti, whose early friendship brightened many days of my life, 
and whom I never can forget.* With two designs by Dante 
Gabriel Rossetti. Laurence Bloomjield. Dedicated to Samuel 
Ferguson. (Reeves and Turner.) 

1892. New edition of The Ballad Book, Golden Treasury Series. Edited 

by William Allingham. (Macmillan and Co.) I 

1^.--t893. Varieties in Prose, including 'Rambles by Patricius Walker,* and 11 

i«^ Essays, now first collected. A portrait of the Author is in Vol. L | I 

(Longmans, Green and Co.) 

The collected edition of Allingham's Poems in six volumes 
(sold separately or in the set) : — 

Irish Songs and Poems, with nine airs (as above), and photograph of the 

Waterfall of Asaroe. 
Laurence Bloomjield, or Rich and Poor in Ireland, with portrait of the Author. 

Floijoer Pieces-. Day and Night Songs: Ballads. With two designs by D. G. 
Rossetti. (Some copies on large paper.) 

Life and Phantasy, with frontispiece by Sir John E. Millais, R.A., and design 
by Arthur Hughes. (Some copies on large paper.) 

Thought and Word, and Ashby Manor, a Play in two Acts. With portrait 
of the Author (1865), and four theatrical scenes drawn by Mrs. Alling- 
ham. (Some copies on large paper.) 

Blackberries. (Longmans, Green and Co.) 


Abyssinia, King Theodore's son Alamayu, 

183, 184, 185, 187, 189 
Agricultural labourers in 1872, 209 
Aide, Hamilton, and Mrs. Aide, 103, 

109, 131, 170, 180, 200, 265 
Aldworth, Lord Tennyson's house on 

Blackdown, Surrey, 201, 287, 297, 

33Si 338 

Allingham, Miss Catherine, 69 j letters 
to, 70, 72, 34.1, 371 ; Sister Jane, 46, 
341, 371 ; Brother John, 14, 31, 321, 
341, 371 ; Uncle John and Cousins, 
46, 1 14 5 present members of the 
family in Ireland, 341 ; origin of family 
suggested to be Ellingham, Hants, 145 

Allingham, Mrs. (Helen), married to, 
2335 portraits and drawings by, 240, 
266, 267, 271, 275, 287, 301, 302, 

3.09' 3i9» 338, 346, 361, 365 
Allingham, William, his autobiography, 
1-34 ; childhood, home, and youth in 
Ballyshannon, 1-6, 10, 13, 22-28 ; 
Father, 5, 7, 9, 21, 30, 31, 33, 39 ; 
letters to, 69, 7 i, 79, 92, 116; anxiety 
about Father's health, 133 ; his death, 
144. Mother, her early death, 8, 9. 
Paternal Grandmother, Aunts, and 
their home, 10-12, 26, 27; his old 
nurses, Kitty Murray, 25, Madge 
M'Nulty, 116; school-days, 28, 29 j 
bank-clerk, and early reading, 29 ; 
first visit to London, 29, 30 j Officer 
of Customs at Belfast, 31, 32; 
Donegal, 32, 33 

Diary begins, 34 ; holiday in 
London, 34-39; Donegal, 39-42; 
Ballyshannon, 33, 39, 43, 46 ; Dublin, 
43, and Uncles, 46-49 ; Controller of 
Customs at Ramsey, Isle of Man, 
46, 49-51, 55-57; London, 51-55; 
Ballyshannon, 57, 58 ; London, 59- 
65 ; Sub -Controller of Customs at 
Ballyshannon, 55, 66-69 > ^'^ studies 
and character, 66-69 5 Coleraine, 69 ; 

removes to London, 69, 71; meets 
Nat. Hawthorne at Liverpool, 70 ; 
renounces journalism, 72, 73 ; Customs 
again at New Ross, 73 ; Ballyshannon, 
74 ; friends in London, 75 ; at Paris, 
76-78, and Weimar, Goethe's House, 
78, 79 ; Customs in London, 79 ; 
finally at Lymington, 81, 82. Diary 
resumed, 82 ; attraction of and love 
for Tennyson, 82, 83, 84, 329 ; visits 
Tennyson at Farringford, 87-89, 97, 
112; discontent with officialism, 95, 
96; at Romsey, 98; London, 100- 
106 ; musical party at Halle's, 103 ; 
ethical reflections, 100, 114, 124, 144, 
149 ; Vambery and his travels, 103, 
104 ; makes tour in Wilts and Hants, 
112; holiday in Ireland, 112-116; 
lecture and visit in Dublin, 11 3-1 15 ; 
introspective remarks, 114, 124, 166, 
167, 200, 322 ; visit to Ballyshannon 
and old friends, 116; Lymington, 
1 17-124; visits to Tennyson and 
friends, 117-120; to Portsmouth and 
Spithead, 120-122 ; steam trip. Swan- 
age, 122 ; charity and sympathy, 122, 
123, 190, 191 ; London, studios and 
Palmerston's funeral, 125, 126; at 
Farringford with Rev. Wm. Barnes, 
126-128; spring rambles near Lyming- 
ton and Farringford, 131 ; at Lynd- 
hurst with the Tennysons, 133-137 ; 
to London, studios (Burne-Jones and 
Rossetti), 137, 139; Carlyle, 138; 
Burne-Joneses at Lymington, excur- 
sions, 140-143; Winchester, 141, 
142; London and old friends, 151- 
153; summer and books in the 
country, 152 ; excursion with Tenny- 
son party to Spithead, 1 54 ; with 
Tennyson to Dorchester and Lyme 
Regis, 156-159; entertains D. G. 
Rossetti, 160-162; visits him at 
Chelsea, 164-166 ; desire for home 




life, 167, 175 ; lodgings at Freshwater, 
167-169; London, 171-174; criticises 
Browning's enigmatic genius, 174; 
goes to the Derby, 181 ; visit to 
Freshwater, 184, 185 ; on the long- 
ing for Nature, 1S8; at Farringford, 
189 ; feeling for Tennyson, 183, 190 j 
Devonshire rambles, 201 ; visits 
Tennyson at Blackdown, 201. Re- 
moves to London, 202 ; Fraser's 
Maga%i:ie, sub-editorship, 202 ; editor- 
ship, 233 ; suggested resumption of 
this by Froude, 254 ; later reflections 
on editorship, 323 ; contrasts Carlyle 
with Emerson, 220 ; with Emerson 
and Browning at Kensington Museum, 
220-221 ; describes Carlyle 's literary 
genius and position, 230, 239 ; his 
marriage and home, 233-234 ; his 
three children, 241, 250, 255, 316; 
' Sonny,' 250, 277, 284. His love for 
Shelley, 242 ; keeps lock of Carlyle's 
hair, 263 ; evening party at Tenny- 
son's house in London 1878, 265 ; 
summer at Shere, 265. Tourney 
to Scotland, 277 ; Dumfries, 278 ; 
Moffat, 279, 282, 283 J Lockerbie 
and Ecclefechan, 280, 281. Summer 
at Haslemere, 286, 301 ; Blackdown 
and Tennyson's house, Aldworth, 
287, 298 ; explains the Irish diffi- 
culties to Tennyson, 297, 298. Old 
friends in London, 307 ; feelings on 
the death of Carlyle, 309. Family 
removes to Sandhills, Witley, 311; 
the country round, 311-313, 315, 
316; recollections of Mr. and Mrs. 
G. H. Lewes, 313, 314. Thoughts 
upon belief in God, 316-318, 329; 
stay in Hampstead, 322 ; country 
pleasures in Surrey, 322; goes to 
weddingof Hallam Tennyson, 323 ; re- 
marks on William Morris's Socialism, 
326, 339 ; admiration for passage in 
Coleridge's ' Christabel,' 326; Mr, 
A. R. Wallace and spiritualism, 329, 
330, 333 ; afternoon with Tennyson 
children and soap-bubbles, 331; on 
the Irish and cruelty to animals, 346 ; 
a broken diary, February to August 
1886, 347; life at Witley, 348-350, 
351, 354-358, 360-362; against war, 
350; his pension, 351 ; in London, 
friends there, Royal Academy, etc., 
352 ; Queen Victoria's Jubilee Pro- 
cession, 359, 360; visit to Fleet at 
Portsmouth, 361 ; garden party and 
friends at Mrs.Simmons's, Shotter Mill, 
362 ; stay at Poynton near Manchester, 

attending British Association, 363 ; 
excursion to Prestbury, Cheshire, 363, 
364 ; notices of several deceased friends, 

370 ; visits to London and friends, 

371 ; to Robert Browning, 372- 
375 j 3 garden party at Tennyson's, 
Aldworth, 377. Beginning of his 
last malady, discomfort, 382, 383 ; 
farewell to Witley, removal to Hamp- 
stead, 382 ; interest in Keats, and 
poem, 384 ; visit to Eastbourne, 384 ; 
last poem, 385. Diary interrupted 
in March 1889, 383; resumed for 
last time in October, 385 ; last entry, 
visits of friends, and a note why he 
cared for his diaries, 387. Peaceful 
farewell, 387, 388 

References to his poems and publica- 
tions, 54, 55 ; first volume of ' Poems,' 
60, 61, 67; at work on 'Day and 
Night Songs,' 73; 'Music Master,' 
74 ; ' Robin Redbreast,' 74 ; ' The 
Ballad Book,' 85, 92, 97, 195 ; Fifty 
Modern Poems, iii, 128; Hallow 
Eve Chant, 40 ; By the Shore, 
41; Fairy Song, 'Wee Folk,' 44; 
Music Master, 46, 58 ; The Pilot's 
Daughter, 54 ; The Touchstone, 
58, 199, 222 ; Lady Alice, 58 ; 
Flowers and Poets, 58 ; Day and 
Night Songs, 73, 319 ; The Maids 
of Elfin Mere, 74 ; Laurence Bloom- 
field, 85, 86, 90, 95, 99, 181, 209; 
characters in, 115, 116; Goodman 
Dodd, 92 ; The Abbot of Inisfalen ; 
Emily, 97 ; Homeward Bound, 117 ; 
Nightingale Valley, 79, 127 ; Rambles 
of Patricius Walker, 155, 193, 201, 
220 ; Squire Curtis, 167, 175 ; Prince 
Brightkin, 199, 200, 201 ; Black- 
berries, 200, 319 ; In Fairyland, 201 ; 
Seven Hundred Years Ago {Eraser), 
254 ; Modern Prophets (Fraser), 257 ; 
Statuette, 296 ; Songs, Ballads, and 
Stories, 296, 30- ; Painter and Critic, 
Ivy Leaves (Eraser), 307 ; An Evil 
May Day, 307 ; ^sAby Manor, Hop- 
good and Co., plays, 307 ; Mary 
Donnelly, 336 ; Twelve Flower 
Sonnets, 347 ; lines on Monckton 
Milnes, 343, 360 ; The Banshee, 350, 
379; 'Irish Songs,' 371; Poet and 
Bird, 384; Sunrise at Eastbourne, 
385 ; Poet's Epitaph, 388 

Proposed History of Ireland, 138, 

145, 152, 173, 209, 307; revised 

issue of his Poems, 351, 366, 377, 385 

AUingham, William, bust of, by Munro, 




Alma-Tadema, Sir Lawrence and Lady, 

Andersen, Hans C, 37 ; described, 38 
Anderson, Miss Mary, actress, 367, 371, 

379, 380 
Angell, Mrs. (Helen Coleman), 265 
Annan, Carlyle at school at, 247 j river 

and Annandale, 279 
Antwerp, Carlyle's explanation of the 

word, 264 
Argyll, Duke of, 265, 288, 377 
Armagh, Archbishop of, Daniel 

M'Gettigan, friendly recollections of 

him, 370 
Armstrong, T., 195 
Arnold, Matthew, 217, 288, 323 
Art in writing, Carlyle on, 206 ; Tenny- 
son on, 215 
Ashburton, Louisa (Lady), 208, 228, 240 
Athanasian Creed, 328 

Bacon, Francis, Lord Verulam, Spedding's 
Life of, 234; on innovations, 335 

Baddesley, cottage struck by lightning, 
'55> 161 

Bain, Alexander, Professor of Logic in 
Aberdeen, 233 

Ballyshannon, description of the town 
and country round it, i, 14-17 ; the 
church on Mullinashee, 14, 15, 22- 
24 ; the Moy, 15 ; Camlin Park, 18, 
22 ; the Purt, 20 J its peaceable 
character, 20, yet a military post, 18 j 
outbreak of the ' Whiteboys,' 19, 20 j 
Poorhouse, 41 5 incidents, 46 ; Fair, 
58, 67 ; AUingham's last visit to, 

Ballyshannon, History of, by Mr. 
Hugh AUingham, 341 

Banacle, near Witley, Surrey, 322, 354 

Barnard, Mrs., 178 

Barnes, Rev. William, poet, at Came 
Vicarage, near Dorchester, 99, 156^' 
157; lectures at Lymington, 10^ 
126; a true poet, 109; visits 
Tennyson, 126-128 ; his death, 350 

Barretts of Bruckless, Ireland, 39, 40 

Barton, Captain, I2i 

Baudelaire characterised, 331 

Beales, Miss, 103 

Beaulieu, 100, 133 

Beauty and picturesqueness, 312 

Beethoven, Carlyle on, 218 ; Tennyson 
listens to, 292, 337 

Belfast, 31, 75 

Berkeley, Mr. Grantley, 108 

Besant, Sir Walter, novelist, 353 

Birmingham and friends there, 369 

Bismarck, 138 ; letter to Carlyle on 

'Frederick the Great,' 246} lights 
on his character, 270 
Black, William, novelist, 238 
Blackdown, Surrey, view from, 338 
Blake, William, his poems, 53, 349 
Bodichon, Dr. and Madame (Barbara), 
102 ; his plan for scientific homi- 
cide, 358 ; Madame Bodichon, 307 ; 
R. Jefferies appreciated by her, 370 
Boldre, Hants, 82, 89 ; Gilpin's tomb 

in the church, 162 {see Gilpin) 
Boyce, G. P., R.W.S., 75 
Boyle, Miss Audrey (Lady Tennyson), 


Boyle, Miss Mary, 378, 379 

Bradley, the Rev. George G., of Marl- 
borough, afterwards Dean of West- 
minster, 94, 323 

Brains and heads, their sizes, 233 

Bramhall, Cheshire, 364 

Bray, William, of Shere, 267 

Brett, John, R.A., 352 

Bridport to Lyme Regis, a walk, 157 

Broadlandi, near Romsey, Hants, 318 

Broadstairs, 284 

Brockenhurst, church and vicar, ' Paddy ' 
Falls, 140 ; Squire Morant, 144 

Bronte, Charlotte, and 'Jane Eyre," 254 

Brookfield, Mrs. W. H., 177, 178, 180 

Brougham, Lord, Carlyle on his portrait 
80 J 336 

Brown, Ford Madox, 104, 112, 164, 
18 1 ; his frescoes in Manchester, 364 

Browne, G. Buckston, R.C.S., 382, 

383, 387 

Browning, Mrs. (Elizabeth Barrett), 40 ; 
her ' Sonnets from the Portuguese,' 
102, 380 

Browning, Pen, painter, son of the poet, 
100, loi, 264 

Browning, Robert, 36, 37, 41, 57, 65, 
100-102, 104, 128, 178, 179, 202. 
205, 220, 223, 240, 265 ; death of 
his Father, 137; his 'Christmas 
Eve and Easter Day,' 57; 'Dram- 
atis Personse,' 100; 'Sludge the 
Medium,' i.e.. Home, 10 1 j amenities 
at Warwick Crescent, 151, 173, 
194; 'A Blot in the 'Scutcheon,' 
174; visit to Russia, 179; 'Ring 
and the Book,' 180, 181, J91, 195, 
207 ; ' Red Cotton Night Cap 
Country,' 224 ; visits Carlyle, 240, 
268; 'Aristophanes' Apology,' 240, 
the ' Inn Album,' 224 ; opinion of 
Byron, and of Disraeli, 246, 250 ; 
his dreams, 248 ; memory and music, 
249; 'Agamemnon,' 257, 258, 260; 
Tennyson on 'Clive,' 288-9; ^'* 




warm friendship for Carlyle, 310, 311, 
374» 375 J 'Ivan Ivanovitch,' 314; 
at Hallam Tennyson's wedding, 323 ; 
his story of Fontenelle, 352 ; opinion 
of Darwin, 373 ; his four plays acted 
for the Browning Society, 373, 374 
Browning, Miss Sarianna, 151, 173, 179, 

Bruce, Austin, M.P., 182 
Buckton, G. B., F.R.S., 330, 343, 362, 


Burdon, Mr. C, 322 

Burne- Jones, Sir Edward ('Ned'), 75, 
79, 80, loi, 103, 104, III ; at 
Kensington Square, 125, 139, 153, 
195 ; conies with family to Lyming- 
ton, 140-143 J his style a ' New 
Renaissance,' 141 ; his studio, 125, 
137, 153, 165; at Fulham, 174, 202, 
307 ; his family there, 347 

Burnett, Mr., Customs Officer, 171, 174 

Burns, Robert, and brother Gilbert, 
206, 284 ; his home and haunts in 
Dumfries, 278 j poetry recited by 
Carlyle, 279 ; Carlyle's talk of him, 
of his death, and of his grave, 282, 

Burrard, Sir Charles and Miss, no 
Burton, Sir Frederick, loi, 201, 306 
Butler, Mr. and Mrs., of Harrow, 94 
Byron, some opinions of him, 132, 165, 

187, 206, 246, 253, 295, 300, 337 

Caldecott, Randolph, 321, 323 
Cameron, Mrs., at Freshwater, 87, 93, 

106, 117, 123, 127, 152, 153, 161, 

163, 170, 182, 183, 185, 198; her 

exhibition, 171 
Campbell, Thomas, 64, 226, 236, 237, 

Canada, Emerson upon, 217 
Carleton, William, Irish writer, 324, 

Carlyle, Alexander (' Alick '), 278, 279, 

282, 285, 308, 382 
Carlyle, Mrs. Alexander (Mary Carlyle 

Aitken), 196, 202, 214, 219, 232, 

235» 239. 255, 266, 267, 348, 359, 

382, 387 ; at Moffat, married, 278 ; 

devotion to the Uncle's last days, 306, 

308-310; son Tommy, 308, 312 
Carlyle, James, Father of Carlyle, 289, 

Carlyle, James, Brother of Carlyle, and 

Craigenputtock, 280, 281 
Carlyle, Mrs. (Jane Welsh), 80, 137, 

229, 232, 242 
Carlyle, Dr. John, Brother of Carlyle, 

209, 236, 263 J his illness, 278 

Carlyle, Thomas, 36, 59, 73, 75, 82, 
119, 165, 166; remarks on Keats, 
41, 205, 310; letter from, at Eccle- 
fechan, 59 j his garden, 79 ; on Lord 
Brougham and Benj. Disraeli, 80, 81 ; 
various talks, 138, 172, 209 ; on 
education and criminals, 172 ; on 
Parliament, 182; on Browning's 
'Ring and Book,' 194, 207; valua- 
tion of his own writings, 196 ; of 
Sartor, 230; on Taine's book, 213; 
on Plato, 213, 243 ; on Socrates and 
Voltaire, 213; on the stars, religion, 
and nature, 215, 216, 239, 264; 
Allingham his Boswell, 202 ; re- 
ligious views, 196, 203, 206, 238, 
239, 256, 273 ; firm belief in God, 
262, 264, 268, 274 ; his Scotch re- 
collections, 205, 207, 208, 219, 226, 
253; college days, 232; recalls his 
first journey to Edinburgh, 279. 
Literary and philosophical talk, 205 ; 
early reading, 205 ; on Shakespeare, 
206, 210, 214, 247, 252, 275, 286 ; 
on Thackeray, 208 ; on Browning, 
205, 207, 209, 240, 244 J on Ireland, 
209, 277 ; his ignorance of the 
structure of verse, 210, 211 j on Don 
{|)uixote, 212 ; on marriage, 2x2 ; dis- 
like to formal religion, 2 17, 274 ; effect 
of Scotch dogmatic Christianity upon 
him, 232, 238, 253, 254; Mother's 
distress at his unbelief, 253, 268 ; 
abhors Darwinism, 224, 245, 248, 
264, 274. Remarks on the Hare 
family, 218 ; on Milton's poetry, 223 ; 
his friendship with Emerson, 220, 
224 ; his pipe and smoking, 222, 
224, 237 ; in Germany, 225 ; his 
German Diploma and Order, 227, 
231. On death, 228, 267, 305, 308 ; 
his labour on 'Frederick the Great,' 
229, 235 ; Bismarck's letter on this, 
246; result of 'Shooting Niagara,' 
233 ; remarks on Chelsea Hospital 
and St. Paul's, 233 ; characterises 
Disraeli, 234, 256, 266, 285 ; on 
Spedding's 'Bacon,' 234; Disraeli 
offers an honour and a pension, 
236. On Sydney Smith and Thomas 
Campbell, 236, 237 ; debate with 
Gladstone, 236 ; on Charles Darwin, 
239, 274; on translation, 239, 258 ; 
on historians, 241 ; his opinion of the 
Slavs, 241 ; horror of materialism, 
245, 270 ; on Marlowe and Ben 
Jonson, 252 ; etymology of word 
'ten,' 255; Mr. Fred. Martin's bio- 
graphy of him, 256 ; early memories, 



253, 256, 257 5 remarks on Brown- 
ing's 'Agamemnon,' 257, 258,260; 
ill-health, 259, 262, 275, 285 ; pro- 
phesies general democracy, 261 j on 
Catholic Emancipation, 261 ; on 
Ruslcin, 263 ; visits Browning, 263, 
264 j his thoughts upon another life, 
269 ; weary of life, 271, 305 ; visits 
to St. Paul's, 272, 273 ; remarks on 
Kant and Swedenborg, 273 ; visit 
to the Temple Church, 276. At 
Moffat with Mr. and Mrs. Alexander 
Carly 16,278-284; his talk about Burns, 
282, 283 ; Ecclefechan, 280, 281. His 
eighty-fourth birthday, 284 ; reads 
Burns and Campbell, 305 ; recollec- 
tions of death of Nelson, 305 ; eighty- 
fifth birthday, 306 ; last illness and 
death, 308, 309. Browning's reminis- 
cences of Carlyle, 310, 311 ; Tenny- 
son's recollections, 331 

Carlyle, mention of portraits of, by 
Maclise, 203 ; Whistler, 226 ; Millais, 
255 ; Linnell, 267 ; Mrs. Allingham, 
in water-colour, 240, 267, 271 

Carlyle, ' Tom,' Uncle to Thomas, 267 

Cary, Rev. H. F. (died 1844), translator 
of Dante, 227 

Cassell, Walter, 193 

Catholic Emancipation, 261 

Cavendish, Lord Frederick, murder of, 
in the Phcenix Park, 316 

Chantarelles gathered near Witley, 377, 

Charmouth, 157 
Chiddingfold bells at New Year, 315, 

Christchurch, 92, 192 ; Shelley's monu- 
ment, 92, 107 
Clark, Rev. W. G., of Cambridge, 169 
Clayton, John R., 386 
Clifford, W. Kingdon, Professor, and 

Mrs., 212, 256, 376, 377 
Clough, Arthur, 57, 68, 72, 350 
Clough, Mrs. Arthur, 86, 87, 89, 98, 

102, 107, 166 
Clough's letters and lectures, 107, 109, 

129 ; Allingham on his poetry, 143 
Clover, Joseph T., F.R.C.S., attended 

Emperor Louis Napoleon, 259, 260 
Cobbett, William, 41 ; his birthplace, 

'Cock' Inn, 52, 147, 299 
Cole, Sir Henry, 244 
Coleraine, 69 
Coleridge, S. T., his grave, 52, 295 ; 

versification of ' Christabel,' 226, 227 ; 

Coltman, Mrs., 86, 87 

Colvin, Mr. and Mrs. Russell, and 
children, at Witley, 348, 362 

ConoUy, old family at Ballyshannon, 

Conway, Moncure D., 159, 171, 307 

Craik, George Lillie, and Mrs. (Dinah 
Muloch), 322, 362 ; death of Mrs. 
Craik, 369 

Crawford, Robert, engineer, his reminis- 
cences of AUingham's school-days, 28 

Cromwell, compared with Shakespeare, 
247 ; 272, 277_ 

Crookes, Sir William, F.R.S., paper, 292 

Cruelty, thoughtless, 251 

Cruikshank, George, subscription for, 

137 . 
Cummins, Father John, of Ballyshannon, 

Curry, Mrs., of Freshwater, 167, 175, 


Daffarn, Mr. and Mrs., 367 

Darwin, Charles, 184, 185, 191, 239, 

274 ; death of, 316 
Darwin, Erasmus, brother to Charles, 

184, 256, 263 
De Morgan, Professor Augustus, 329 ; 

Mrs. De Morgan, 352 
De Morgan, Miss Mary, 316, 352 
De Morgan, William, 321 
Denmark, strolling players in old times, 

Derby, Lord, on Education, 227 ; letter 
to, about waysides near Hindhead, 

De Vere, Aubrey, 140, 293-296 
Dickens, Charles, 36, 58, 68, 71, 78 
Dickinson, Lowes, 362 
Dickson, Miss (" Dolores "), song writer, 

124, 191, 200 
Disraeli, Benjamin (Lord Beaconsfield), 
80, 81, 182, 293, 319 ; remarks upon 
him by Browning, 246, 250, 268, 
Carlyle, 234, 256, 266, 336, and 
Tennyson, 265 ; his first speech, 318 
Dogmatism, evils of, 196, 197, 215 
" Don," Tennyson's dog, 287, 290 
Donegal, AUingham's life at, 32, 33, 


Donegal Bay in AUingham's poem, 61 

Dorchester, 156, 157 

Dreams, impressions of, Allingham, 14, 
137. 351-352. 382, 383; Carlyle's, 
172; Browning's, 248; Tennyson's, 


Drummond, Henry, at Albury, 266 

Dryden, 150, 226, 301 

Dublin, church and theatre, 43 ; scien- 
tific bachelor's dinner-party, 47, 48 ; 



reception at Castle, 75 ; visit and friends 
in, 1 14, 115 
Du Maurier, George, 152, 195, 386, 387 

Eastbourne, 239, 384 ; ' Sunrise at East- 
bourne,' AUingham's last poem, 385 

Edgeworth, Maria, anecdote of, 64 ; 342 

Edinburgh, footpads and hanged men 
seen by Carlyle, 219 

Edwards, Miss M. Betham, 360, 361 

'Eliot, George' {see Lewes), 222, 265, 
284, 286, 306, 313, 314, 362 

Ella, Professor John, founder of the/* 
Musical Union, musical party at his 
house, 194 

Ellinghani parish, Hants, 145 ^ 

Elwin, Rev. W., his edition of Pope, 

Emerson, R. W., 40, 41, 54, 98, 194, 
206, 216, 217 J his writings, 220-224 j 
with his daughter. Miss Emerson, 
through London, 221,2225 on poetry; 
242 ; in old age, 244 ; his death, 3165 
his son Edward, 2 14, 2 1 6 ; his daughter 
Mrs. Forbes, 372 

Emigration to ' Ameriky,' 7, 16 

Empire and the Colonies, Tennyson and 
Carlyle on, 217 

English peasants, silence of, 316 

Enniskillen, 115, 1 16 

Evans, Edmund, engraver and colour- 
printer, and Mrs., 322, 347, 369 

Farringford, Isle of Wight, 84, 87 ; 
classic laurel bush growing there, 132 

Fawcett, Henry, Mr. and Mrs., 321 

Ferguson, Sir Samuel, LL.D., 34, 113, 
114; his poems, 288; English in- 
difference at his death, 348 

Fielding, 213 

Fields, Mr. and Mrs. James T., of 
Boston (publisher), 198, 199 

Fish diet, brain-feeding, 221 

FitzGerald, Edward, 63, 64, 320, 321, 

337' 341 
Flemish, old painting on panel, 165 
Flight, Dr. Walter, and his widow, 377 
Flower, Mr. and Mrs. Wickham, 352 
Forbes, Mr. and Mrs. (Emerson's 

daughter), and children, 372 
Forster, John, 2145 his ' Dickens,' 23 i ; 

Foster, Birket, 312, 316, 341 
Eraser'' s Magazine, 201, 306, 323 
Freemasonry, 168 
French Fleet at Spithead, August 1865, 

121, and July 1867, 154 
French Government and the Church of 

Rome, 299 

Freshwater, Isle of Wight, 84, 86 
Friedmann, Paul, 266, 270, 273 
Froude, J. Anthony, 165, 171, 179, 197, 
202, 209, 235, 243, 245 j his Colonial 
tour, 254 note ; editor of Eraser's 
Magazine, 202 {see AUingham, W.) ; 
his Life of Carlyle, 341 
Furniss, Harry, Mr. and Mrs., 342, 347 

Galway, Lady, 360 

Garibaldi, at Mr. Seeley's house, 99, 168 

Germ, The, periodical, 91 

Gibbon's 'Decline and Fall,' etc., 232, 

Gilfillan, George, 34 

Gillies, Miss Margaret, water - colour 
painter, 370 

Gilpin, William, Vicar of Boldre, Hants 
writer, 162 

Gladstone, Rt. Hon. W. E., 265, 318, 
335, 336; quotes 'Laurence Bloom- 
held,' 99 5 on Disraeli, 246 j Tenny- 
son's anecdote of steam voyage with 
him, 320 ; rebukes levity regarding 
God, 340; on Ireland, 347, 354 

God, belief in, William Morris and 
AUingham upon, 316-318 ; Tennyson 
upon, 329, 339 ; AUingham's Prayer, 


Goethe, his house at Weimar, 78, 125 ; 
119 ; on death, 228 j size of his head, 
2325 his ' Spriiche,' 239, 243; on 
the future life (poem), 269 ; his in- 
fluence on Carlyle, 253, 283 

Goldsmith, Oliver, his grave near the 
Temple Church, London, 276, 277 

Gordon, Charles G., General, 344, 345 

Gore, 'Gussy,' his old house, 131 

Graham, Paul, 131 

Greek play at Cambridge, CEdipus, 367 

Greenaway, Miss Kate, 322, 352, 353 

Haddon, Elizabeth (Mrs. Cave), the 
children's nurse, 309, 315, 347 ; her 
marriage, 366 ; 369 

Haenel, Julius, sculptor, 103 

Halle, Sir Charles, 103, 180 

Hampshire dialect, 129 

Hampstead Heath, evening effect, 54 

Handwriting, 216 

Hannay, James, 75 

Harrison, Frederic, on Immortality, 

2i5i 353 
Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 70, 71 
Heligoland desires to join Germany, 266 
Hennessy, W. J., painter, 352, 376 
Herford, William H., and niece Evelyn 

Herford, 386 
Highgate and its sights, 52 



Hindhead, 367, 376, 380 ; Lord Derby's 

property near, 319 
Hinton, James, 'Life in Nature,' 183, 

186, 187 
Hodgson, Mr. and Mrs. Stewart, 321, 

330, 371, 375. 380 
HoU, Frank, R.A., and Mrs., 359 
Holland, Sir Henry (Lord Knutsford), 

and Lady, 321, 366, 372 
Holies, Denzil, old house of, 297 
Holmes, O. Wendell, 217 
Home the spiritualist, and Browning, 

101, 102 
Hooker, Sir Joseph D., 184, 376 
Houghton, Lord {see Milnes, Monckton), 

103, 125, 205, 312, 313, 315, 323, 

342, 360 
Howell, Charles Augustus, 137, 153, 

Howitt, Mr. and Mrs. William, at High- 
gate, 59, 68, 104 J at Esher, 186 ; on 

spiritualism, 329 
Hughes, Arthur, 74, 75, 171, 307 
Hunt, Holman, 59, 75, 143, 352 
Hunt, Leigh, 34-38 ; description of him, 

38? 55 j portrait by Sam. Laurence, 

106 ; 172, 204, 226, 310, 381 
. Hunt, Thornton, death of, 226 
/^ Hunter, Sir Robert (Solicitor to the 

Post-Office) and Lady, 321, 322, 330 
Hutchinson, Jonathan, M.D., LL.D., 

at Hindhead, his debt to Carlyle, 

Huth, Mr. Henry, 178 
Huxley, Leonard (son of T. H. Huxley), 

Huxley, Prof. Thomas H., 221, 224, 
270, 3535 Mrs. Huxley, 265 

Ingelow, Miss Jean, 178 

Ireland, Petrie's ' Round Towers,' 209 ; 
Tennyson's remarks on Ireland and 
Irishmen, 167, 199, 293, 297, 325, 
346 ; Irish brogue, 343, 344 ; Irish 
brogue in Tennyson's poems, 324, 
336 ; neglect of Irish writers in 
England, 348 ; Irish play, Arrah-na- 
Pogue, in London, 1 1 3 

Irving, Edward, 255, 266, 272 

Irving, Sir Henry, 304, 349, 351 

James, Henry, novelist, 378 

Janet, Paul, reaii by Tennyson, 136, 

Jefferies, Richard, wrote in Eraser, 370 
Jekyll, Miss Gertrude, 347, 381 
Jewsbury, Miss Geraldine, novelist, 137, 

Job, book of, English translation, 258 

Johnson, Dr., Carlyle praises the Diction- 
ary, 261 ; 300 

Jonson, Ben, his father an Annandale 
man, 252 

Jowett, Professor, at Freshwater, 97, 98 j 
his ' Plato,' 243 

Kant, 203, 204 J in Germany, 273 
Keats, John, Carlyle on him, 205, 310 j 

greatly admired by Tennyson, 295, 

296 ; AUingham's poem on him, 384 
Keene, Charles, 321, 341 
Kemble, Fanny, 302 
Killarney and Tennyson's 'Bugle 

Song,' 301 
Killybegs, 39 

King, Lady Annabella, 103 
King (publisher), Mr. and Mrs., at 

Farringford, 1 1 7 
Kingsley, Charles, 74, 86 
Kirk wood, a crippled pensioner, 191 
Knowles, Sir James, 215, 372 
Knutsford, Lord and Lady {see Holland), 

321, 366, 372 

Laing, David, Librarian to the Signet, 

Laplace on English politics, 292 
Latin, pronunciation of, discussed, 95 
Laurence, Samuel, painter, 106, 178, 

Lear, Edward (author of ' The Book of 

Nonsense'), 132, 291 
Lecky, Rt. Hon. W. E. H., AUingham's 

impression of him, 177, 178, 19--8 ; 

with Carlyle, 241, 246, 261, 262, 

277, 285, 286 ; Mrs. Lecky, 263, 

264, 269, 284, 323 
Leech, John, his daughter, 177 
Leighton, Sir Baldwyn, 180, 214, 217, 

220, 244 
Leighton, Frederick (Lord), P.R.A., 

fresco in Lyndhurst church, 161, 180 
Letters of alphabet, guess at their origin, 

Lewes, Mr. and Mrs. G. H. (' George 

Eliot'), 222, 265 ; Mrs. Lewes, 284, 

286, 313, 3145 her death, 306; 362 
Lightning and storm, effects of, on 

cottage, 155 
Lind, Jenny, 34, 35, 37, 43 ; her death, 

Linnell, John, at eighty-six, 265 ; 267 
Locker, Frederick (Locker-Lampson), 

265 ; Mrs. F. Locker, 323 
Longfellow, H. W., 1S3 
Longmans, Messrs., 199, 202, 220, 245 ; 

Miss Longman, 366 ; Mrs. Thos. 

Longman, 381 



Lords, House of, worthless, 333 
Lowell, Jas. Russell, 194} Miss Mabel 

Lowell, 198, 199 
Lushington, Mr. and Mrs. Edmund, 323 
Lyme Regis, its associations and beauties, 

157. 158; 342 
Lymington and its neighbourhood, 82- 

85, 112, 174; Fair, 83, 90; beauty 

of its chimneys, 124 
Lyndhurst and New Forest, 133; 

Allingham visits the Tennysons there, 

133-137; Lord Leighton's fresco in 

the church, 161 

Macaulay, Lord, 177, 241, 286, 289 
McCracken, Mr., of Belfast, 75 
MacGauley, Professor, in Dublin, 47 
M'Gettigan, Daniel, R.C. Archbishop of 

Armagh, 115, 370 
Maclise, drawing of Carlyle by, 203 
Macmillan, Mr. and Mrs. Alexander, at 

Balham, 103, 105 ; 106, 330 
MacMunn family of Cranny, Donegal, 

41, 42 
Macpherson's Ossian, 205 
Magee, Bishop, of Peterborough, 187 
Mahony, F. S., "Father Prout," 77, 78 
Man, Isle of, Douglas and Ramsey, 49- 

51, 56 ; the Tynwald, 49, 50 
Mangles, Mrs. and Miss, 322, 367, 371 
Manning, 215 
Marlborough, Duke of. Lord Wolseley's 

opinion of him, 355 
Marshall, James, of Weimar, 79, 125 
Martin, Sir Theodore and Lady (Helen 

Faucit), 306 
Martineau, Basil, Mr. and Mrs. (Clara) 

at Eldon Road, Hampstead, 347, 352, 

353. 369. 381 

Martineau, Dr. James, goes to see Car-^ 
lyle, 244, 245 ; his appearance anif 
conversation at eighty -two, 353 ; 
Tyndall's word about him, 377 

Matter and its properties, 333, 335 

Mazzini, death of, Carlyle's remarks, 

Melbourne, Lord, and Catholic Emanci- 
pation, 261 

Mendelssohn's death, 41 

Meredith, George, 61 

Metaphysical Society, 215, 353; Hux- 
ley's paper ' Has a Frog a Soul? ' 292 

Meteyard, Miss, 59 

Midleton, Lady, 366 

Mildmay, Captain, 86, no 

Millais* picture ' The North Pole,' 
232 ; 255 ; his 'Ophelia,' 379 

Milnes, Monckton, Lord Houghton, 
103, 125, 205 i recalls Carlyle and 

his letter to his wife about Fryston, 
3i2i3i3>.3i5. 323. 342; AUingham's 
lines on him, 360 

Milton's tomb and Emerson, 221 ; 223, 

Mitford, A. B., author of ' Tales of Old 
Japan,' 259 

Moffat, N.B., Allingham and Carlyle at, 

Moon, apparent size of, to different eyes, 

Moore, Albert, 352 

Moore, Tom, 203, 206, 210 

Moorey, Mrs., of Sandhills, Witley, 348 

Morganatic marriages, 271 

Morris, Sir Lewis, 323 

Morris, William, 75, 80 ; at Plum- 
stead, 106; at Burne-Jones's, 137, 
139, 202; at Lymington, 140-143; 
at Queen Square, 153, 154, 165, 181 ; 
talk with, on religion, 316 ; his demo- 
cratic Socialism, 326, 339 

Mount Temple, Lord, 318 

Miiller, Max, 128, 222 

Murphy, from Ballyshannon, 115 

Myers, F. W. H., 329 

Napoleon I., Carlyle's remarks on him, 

227, 228 
Napoleon, Louis, Mr. Clover's remarks 

and Richard Owen's dictum upon 

him, 259, 260 ; Carlyle's description, 

Nature and religion, 215 
Nelson's death, 305 
Nevill, Lady Dorothy, 375 
Nevill, Mr. and Mrs., of Bramhall, 364 
New Forest, 85, 90, 91, 188 
Newman, John Henry, 1 1 1 
' Nice,' use of the word, 297 
N'tebelungen Lied, 231 
Nightingale, Mr. and Mrs., at Embley 

Park, 98, 99 
Norton, Charles Eliot, of Harvard, 224 

O'Connell, Daniel, 231 
Orrinsmith, Mr. Harvey, 386 
Osborne House, Isle of Wight, 193 
" Ouida " [see Raniee), 193, 194 
Ouless, Walter, R.A., and family, 332 
Owen, Sir Richard, his ghost-story, 188 ; 

Paget, Miss Violet, 359 

Palgrave, F. T., 93, 94, 158, 159, 178, 

Palmerston, Lord, 100, 113 ; death of, 
124, 126; Allingham in his library, 



Parkes, Miss Bessie (Madame Belloc), 

Parr, Miss (" Holme Lee "), novelist, 

Parry, Clinton, and family, at Freshwater, 

Paterson, Mrs. Alexander, at St. Albans 

(' Grannie '), and her daughter Miss 

Louisa Paterson, 369 
Paterson, Mrs. Henry (Mother to Mrs. 

AUingham), her son Arthur and 

daughter Carrie, 322, 347, 362, 375 
Patmore, Coventry, in Camden Town, 
/ 53"55' ^°' 62, 70, 75 ; becomes 

Roman Catholic, 103 ; marriage, 103, 

Patmore, Gurney, in Derby, 70 
Peel, Sir Robert, 261 
Petrie, George, LL.D., musician and 

antiquary, 114, 130, 138 
Philip, Mr. George, publisher, 319 
Phipson, Mrs., 369 
Planche, Jas. Robinson, 193 
Poetry and artistic form, 54 ; discussion 

on writing, 55 ; the poet and human 

limitations, 149 ; talks on, with Car- 

lyle, 210, 211 j with Tennyson, 294- 

296, 300, 326, 327 
Pollock, Sir Frederick, 87, 376 
Pope, Elwin's edition, 205 ; 289 
Poynter, Sir Edward J., P.R.A., 195, 

321 ,>• 

Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (see W«r6l- 

ner), 91, 100, 362 ; work of Burne- 

Jones and W. Morris a ' new 

Renaissance,' 141 
Prestbury, Cheshire, old house there, 

Princess of Wales [Alexandra] and 

Empress of Russia, 320 
Prinsep, Val, R.A., 101, 103, 170 
Procter (Barry Cornwall), wife and 

daughter, 178 
Procter, Mrs. and Miss Edith, 265, 310, 

323, 368 
' Propetty, Propetty, Propetty,' original 

of Tennyson's poem, 312 

Quain, Dr. Richard, 370 

Quaritch, Bernard, senior, bookseller, 349 

Quarles and Browning, 249 

Queen Victoria and Tennyson, 118, 150 j 
visits French Fleet at Spithead, 154; 
309, 338, 345 ; her Jubilee Procession, 
3^9, 360 J Fleet at Portsmouth, 361 

Rabelais, 304, 345 

Ramee, Louise de la (' Ouida '), 193, 

Ramsden, Mr. and Mrs., at Busbridgc, 
347, 360, 381 

Rehan, Miss, acts in Taming of the 
Shrt-w, 373, 375, 376 

Reid, Buchanan, 58 

Religious service, 43 

Religious speculation, 128, 149, 317, 

Rice, Mr., death of an old man,. 123 

Ritchie family, 189, 193, 265 ; Miss 
Ritchie at Tennyson's, 335, 337, 377 

Robertson, Mrs. Graham, 381 

Rogers, Samuel, 39, 302, 336 

Romsey, Hants, 98 

Rossetti family, 72 ; William M. 
Rossetti, 139; their mother, 165 

Rossetti, Dante Gabriel, 59, 72, 74, 75, 
86, 137, 202; designs cover for 
Allingham's ' Day and Night Songs,' 
74 ; two of his pictures, 75 ; 'Venus 
Verticordia,' 100 ; his housekeeper 
Fanny, 100 j other society, loi ; 
detests music, 104 \ drawings by his 
wife, 144 J visits Lymington, 159- 
163 ; his singularities, 160, 161 ; 
Allingham's view of his character 
and opinions, 162-163 ; his visitors 
and garden at Chelsea, 164; Blake's 
drawings, 349 

Ruskin, John, his lectures on Art and 

^ Life, 153 ; meets Mrs. Aliingham, 
245, 275 ; laments his upbringing, 
245 ; Carlyle's admiration for him, 
263 ; visits Carlvle, 275 ; on Byron's 
poetry, 300 ; on versification, 326 ; 
his poems, 327 

Russell, Countess, and daughter, 366 

Russell, George, M.P., 318 

Russell, Odo, Minister at Rome, 310 

Russell, Hon. Rollo, 363 

Russia, feeling as to, by Tennyson, 
Spedding, and Carlyle, 265 ; anecdote 
of brutal Russian noble, 297 ; 
Empress and Czar of, 320 

St. Barbe, 'Sam,' 86 

Sainton-Dolby, Madame, 178 

Sandwich Islands, Queen Emma of, 118, 

Sartoris, Miss May, 177, 180 

Sayers, Tom, pugilist, 85, 86 

Schiller, self-called relation of the poet, 
at Ramsey, 51 ; discussion about him 
and Goethe at Tennyson's, 64 ; Car- 
lyle's translation of biographical article 
on, 211, 216 

Scott, W. B., 100 

Sellwood, Mr. Henry, Father to Emily, 
Lady Tennyson, 96, no, 117 

2 D 




Seymour, Mr., of Bertolini's, 179, 180, 
198, 299 

Shakespeare, Tennyson first reads him, 
89 J Carlyle's first acquaintance with 
him, and afterwards through Kean and 
Macready, 247; 206, 210, 214, 252, 
275, 286, 300, 381 

Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 29, 65 ; his sisters 
and the family at Boscombe, 107, 109 j 
191 ; his daughter lanthe, igi, 192 j 
several opinions of his poetry, 242, 
295, 296 

Shelley, Sir Percy (Shelley's son), 107, 
170, 191, 192, 307 

Shere, Mr. Bray's cottage at, 265 

Siamese twins, 197 

Siberia, wild flowers in, 200 

Simeon, Sir John, 88, 182; Lady Simeon, 

Simon, Sir John, P.R.C.S., 153, 165, 

Skinner, Alan, Q.C., and family, 160, 

162, 179 
Smith, Sydney, 236 
Smollett, Carlyle on, 212 
Sothern the actor, 10 1 
Sound interpreted by colour (Carlyle), 

Southampton, 96 ; Exhibition there, 

143, 188 
Sowley copse destroyed by Lord Henry 

Scott, 170, 176 
Spedding, James, his ' Bacon,' 234 ; 245, 

265, 376 
Speedy, Captain, 184, 185 
Spencer, Herbert, 224, 284 
Spiritualism, 329, 330, 333, 352 
Spurgeon at Lymington, 84, 88 
Stanhope, Lord, 80, 277 
Stanley, A. P., Dean, his funeral sermon 

on Lord Palmerston, 1265 274 
Stebbing, Mr. and Mrs., 259 
Stephen, Sir James Fitzjames, 175, 215 
Stephen, Leslie, 171, 177, 194, 2285 

death of his wife, 241 
Stephen, Mrs. Leslie, 177, 193 
Stephens, Mr. and Mrs. F. G., 75, 306, 

386, 388 
Sterling, John, influence of his review on 

Tennyson, 150, 314 
Stokes, Whitley, D.C.L., C.S.L, 75, 

Story, W. W., American sculptor, 104, 

Strauss's Life of Jesus, 211 
Sullivan, Sir Arthur, 102 ; origin of 

name, 105, 106 ; 146 ; the Mikado 

criticised, 346 
Sutton, Henry, 44, 53 

Swanage, 122 

Swanwick, Miss Anna, and Browning, 

Swedenborg, 183 ; talk about with Car- 
lyle, 205, 273, 274; with A. R. 
Wallace, 330 

Swift, 234 

Swinburne, A. C, 139, 143, 145, 151, 

Taglia-Carne, La Marchesa, 190 
Tait, Robert, Scotch artist, 226 
Taylor, Bayard, 332 

Taylor, G. Warrington, manager for 
Burne -Jones and W. Morris, 164, 
Taylor, Sir Henry, 87, 93, 127, 163 ; 
Allingham's opinion of his poetry, 
Taylor, Peter, 171 

Taylor, Tom, and Mrs., 75 ; at Lavender 
Sweep, 103, 104, 146, 151, 153, 193, 
202 5 his comedy Lo-ve or Money, 171 j 
Mr. Taylor's death, 304 j Mrs. Taylor 
and son, 348 
Telfer, Mrs., her youth in Siberia, 200 
Tennant, Mr. Charles, and family, 201 
Tennent, Emerson, story of, 234 
Tennyson, Alfred (Lord), Allingham 
reads his poems at Belfast, 3 1 ; 
manuscript of 'In Memoriam,' 55; 
at Twickenham, 60-65 ; described at 
age of forty-one, 60 ; at Farringford, 
87-89, 93-95 ; boys and Shakespeare, 
89; classic metres, 93-9S; reads 
aloud or repeats own poems, 95, 117- 
119, 146, 158, 301, 302, 304, 328 J 
excursion to Beaulieu, too j his visit 
to the Queen, 118, 150; varieties, 
and a drunken man's promise, 119; 
visit to Weimar, 125 5 regard for 
Browning, 128 ; his fondness for 
brooks, 130, 131; on Byron, 132; 
at Lyndhurst, 133-137; his songs, 
' The Loves of the Wrens,' 146 ; Jane 
Austen's novels, 156, 158; feelings 
on immortality and the destiny of 
man, 148, 149, 151, 185, 329; 
Arthurian epic and ' Morte d' Arthur,' 

150, 314, 315 J delightful converse, 

151, 159 ; on marriage, 158 j jottings 
on religion, 163, 215 ; the Queen's 
autograph gift to him, 166 ; on Irish 
landscape, 167 ; on Greek and Latin 
poetry, 168 ; at Cambridge, 175 ; his 
Lincolnshire stories, 176 ; on Long- 
fellow, Swedenborg, and Hinton, 183 ; 
'The San Grail,' 187; Carlyle on, 
205 ; remarks on Ireland, 199, 293, 



297 ; on politics, 288, 333, 346 j dis- 
trust of Russia, 265 ; his play Becket 
aad Henry Irving, 287; remarks on 
satire, 289 ; discussion on Brown- 
ing's poetry, 290, 291, 326 ; music 
and its meaning, 292 ; Wordsworth, 
Coleridge, Shelley, and Keats dis- 
cussed, 293-2965 on the Sonnet, 
302 ; ' Propetty, propetty,' Farmer 
Thimbleby, 'Northern Farmer,' 312. 
He will not be sketched, 315; criticises 
poems of his own, 319, 320, 334, 344; 
steam voyage with Mr. Gladstone and 
Royalties, 320 ; ' Molly Magee ' and 
Irish brogue, 324, 343 j votes for the 
Franchise, 325 j discussion on poetry, 
327, 350 J eternal punishment an 
obsolete belief, 3 28 ; his belief in 
God, 329, 339 J his gift of word- 
painting, 331 ; soap-bubbles, 331 ; 
method of composition, 334; his 
friendship for Gladstone, 336 ; story 
of a Catholic picture, 337 ; his pride 
in the Empire, 325, 338 ; recollections 
of youth, old Tories and Whigs, 340 ; 
Lincolnshire farmers, 346, 377, 378 5 
ghost-story of his grandfather, 349 ; 
stories of dog and lark, 350 ; his 
anecdotes of Gladstone and Ireland, 
354 J illness, gout (age 80), 381; 
the effect of corrupt Latin books on 
boys, 381, 382 

Tennyson, Emily (Lady), 61, 65, 87, 93, 
95. 133. 135. 340; her Alma Song, 
107 5 297, 331 

Tennyson, Arthur (Brother to Lord T.), 
and wife, 365, 366 

Tennyson, Charles (Tennyson Turner), 
Brother to Lord T. {see Turner), 121, 
1 54-, 182 ; Sonnets by, 302 

Tennyson, Frederick (eldest Brother to 
Lord T.), 63, 65, 156, 290 

Tennyson, Hallam (Lord Tennyson), 
93' 133-135. I54> 169, 298, 304, 332, 
345. 350. 365 ; ^i.'s wedding, 323 

Tennyson, Hon. Lionel, 93, 133-135, 
154, 185, 186, 289, 323 ; his wedding, 
263 ; his children, 290 

Tennyson, Miss Matilda (sister to Lord 
T.), 323. 335, 338, 339 

Tennyson family, 63, 93, 154 

Terry, Miss Ellen, 120, 287, 304 

Terry, Miss Kate (Mrs. A. Lewis), 103, 

Thackeray, W. M., in Paris, 76-78 5 

his opinion of Browning, 76 ; letter 

to Tennyson, 136, 208 
Thackeray, Miss (Mrs. Richmond 

Ritchie), 112, 171, 175, 177, 178, 

186, 189, 193, 265 ; two Miss 
Thackerays, n 2 

Tomlinsons' (near Lymington) garden 
party, 200 

Tories and Whigs of old days, 340 

Tourgueneff, 203, 204 

Townsend, Mr. and Mrs. Meredith (co- 
editor of the Spectator), 259 

Tredennicks of Camlin, 22 

Trevelyan, Sir George, 246 

Trollope, Anthony, 106, 180, 342 

Tropical nature, 334 

Turkey, war with, averted by a letter 
from Thomas Carlyle, 256, 263 

Turner, Charles Tennyson, 121, 154. 
1825 Sonnets by, 302 

Turner, Mrs., of Poynton, near Man- 
chester, 363 

Tweed, source of, 279 

Tynan, Katharine (Mrs. Hinkson), 380 

Tyndall, Prof. John. 221, 224, 245. 268, 
285, 319, 340. 376, 377 

Vambery, A., Hungarian traveller, 103 
Venturi, Madame, 255, 260 
Vere, Aubrey de, poet, 140, 186 
Visualising power, 330 

Walker, Frederick, R.A.. 188, 189 
Wallace, Alfred Russel, his Surrey 
garden and his conversation, 329, 330, 

332-335. 339. 352, 373 
War in India, how to escape, 5 50 
Ward, E. M., R.A., 104 
Ward, Humphry, 361 
Ward, Mrs. Humphry, 378 ; her 

'summer-retreat' described, 363 
Waterford, Mayor of, in 1884, 321 
Waterloo, Tom Patten's account of the 

battle, 214 
Watts, G. F., R.A., 112, 153 
Watts, Theodore, 310 
Waugh, Edwin, 149 
Webb, Philip, architect, 10+, 141, 164, 

Weld, Mr. and Mrs. (sister ot Lady 

Tennyson), at Aubrey House, Hants, 

96, 106, 110, 112, II-, 12! 
Wellington, Duke of, 272, 277 ; and 

farmer at Walmer, 211 
Whisky, Irish name, 'calamity water,' 

Whistler, J. M., loi j portrait ot Car- 
lyle, 226 
Wight, Isle of, Solent dialect, 1 29 
Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford, 103- 

105, 140. 328 
Wilde, Sir William. 1 1 5 
Wilkinson, J. Garth, work by, 373 



Wiseman, Cardinal, lectures at Lyming- 

ton, 88 
Witley, Surrey, 311-315, 322, 347, 350, 

354-358, 360-362, 364, 366-370; 

old semaphore station at Banacle 

Hill, near, 354 
Wollstonecraft, Mary, 191 
Wolseley, Viscount, description and 

conversation, 354-359, 361 ; in the 

Queen's Jubilee procession, 360 ; at 

Tennyson's, 364 ; Lady Wolseley, 

Woolner, Thomas, R.A., his ' Puck,' 
53 j 5^' 68, 79 ; poem ' My Beautiful 
Lady,' 91 ; visitors at his house. 

102 ; walks with Allingham to 
Brockenhurst, 112; visits Tennyson, 
128, 129, 132, 169 ; words on 
Browning, 132; Mrs. Woolner, 375 

Wordsworth, William, his death, 58 ; 61, 
162 ; Tennyson and De Vere on his 
poetry, 293-295 

Wordsworth Society, 303 

Yachts and yachting, no nursery for the 

Navy, 120 
Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, maids there, 

Yew trees, a famous wood near Lynd- 

hurst cut down, 136 


Printed by R. & R. Clark, Limited, Edinburgh. 

University of California 

qn«5 n^"rJ"^"n "^°'°NAL LIBRARY FACILITY 
305 De Neve Drive - Parking Lot 17 . Box 951388 
Return this material to th^ lihr^ -y from which it was Jwrn^nH 





Series 9482 

3 1205 00123 8524 


A A 001 433 609 3